A dental crown procedure may be performed on a tooth that is badly damaged or decayed. During the procedure, your dentist will remove any decayed material, clean up the cavity and create a strong cover to restore the damaged tooth. If you have been booked for a dental crown, here’s a closer look at what you can expect from the procedure.
What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns provide an opportunity to restore a tooth that has been damaged or decayed. Crowns present an important restoration because saving your natural teeth takes precedence over extractions and once restored, you should be able to bite and chew with force and comfort.
Also known as dental caps, dental crowns make your tooth stronger and can stop a weakened tooth from breaking further. They also provide an aesthetic replacement for a damaged tooth, so that you have a full and natural-looking arch when you smile.
A dental crown can be used to
- Restore a damaged or decayed tooth
- Complete a root canal treatment
- Complete a dental implant procedure
- Hold a denture or bridge in position
A dental crown is an alternative to a dental filling, where a significant part of the tooth is damaged or decayed. It functions like a big filling.
What Can You Expect From A Dental Crown Procedure?
Your dentist may want to take an x-ray to see how deep your decay goes or, if in the case of a broken or fractured tooth if it goes below the gum line. Your dental practitioner also needs to make sure that what is left of your natural tooth is strong enough to support a crown.
First, your dentist will need to prepare your damaged tooth. This will include cleaning out any decay, as well as preparing the tooth by removing a layer. The completed dental crown will be the same thickness as the layer that has been removed, so your dentist needs to make the space to accommodate it.
Next, an impression will be taken of your tooth, which is sent to a dental technician or laboratory for the crown to be made. Your dentist will fit a temporary crown until the permanent crown is ready to be placed.
Once it has been attached to your tooth, your dental crown should feel, look and function like the other teeth in your mouth. Your damaged tooth should be as strong as your other teeth, and you should not need to modify your diet in any way.
What Materials Are Available For Dental Crowns?
A number of different materials can be used to craft dental crowns. You should discuss the choice of material with your dentist.
The best material for you will depend on the position of the damaged tooth, your budget and lifestyle factors.
Zirconia, resin, porcelain, metal and porcelain fused to metal are all long-lasting and durable materials that could be used for a dental cap.
Is The Dental Crown Procedure Painful?
Having a dental cap is similar to a dental filling so if your tooth is sensitive, you may be concerned about discomfort. The dental cap procedure is performed under local anaesthetic so while you may feel your dentist working on your tooth, you should not experience any pain sensations.
How To Look After Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns need to be looked after in the same way as your other teeth: by brushing and flossing twice a day. However, if dental decay was the reason you needed a dental cap, it’s quite likely that your oral hygiene routine needs an improvement.
While dental caps cannot decay, the teeth around them are subject to decay. It’s very important that you continue to brush and floss twice a day and that you visit your dentist twice a year to keep your teeth strong and healthy.
What Risks And Complications Should You Be Aware Of?
If you continue to experience tooth sensitivity after your crown has been completed, you should discuss this with your dentist. A crown that has been built up too high can put pressure on the nerve, resulting in pain or discomfort once the anaesthetic has worn off. Your dentist would need to adjust the crown to make it fit more comfortably.
Pain or discomfort around an older crown could indicate that it is loose and debris or bacteria have accessed the inside. This can cause decay, and the old or loose crown needs to be removed and replaced.
Chipped crowns may need to be repaired after a few years.
Old Dental Crowns
Old crowns can become loose over time and on occasion, they may fall out. Regular visits to your dentist will ensure that your dental caps are monitored, and replacements can be done in good time.
How Long Do Dental Caps Last For?
Depending on the position of the crown and the material used, a dental crown may last for up to 15 years with good dental care.
If you still have questions about the dental crown procedure, need assistance with an old or leaky crown or need a compassionate dentist for your check up please contact us for an appointment: (03) 9626 9581.