A dental crown is a dental cap or cover that is placed over a tooth by the dental crown dentist. The essence of the dental crown is to restore the broken or misshapen tooth back to its normal size, shape, and function. The dental crown can also be placed to make a tooth stronger or to improve its look.

A dental crown is also recommended if your tooth has a very large dental cavity or if your tooth had root canal treatment. A dental crown is mostly used for cosmetic reasons.

Why Do I Need Dental Crown Houston?

You may need a dental crown Houston for the following reasons:

  • You have a dental cavity that is too large for a dental filling.
  • You want to conceal your discoloured, stained, or badly shaped tooth.
  • You have a cracked, worn down, or weakened tooth.
  • You have recently undergone root canal therapy – the dental crown protects the restored tooth.

What Is the Dental Crown Made from?

A dental crown is made from several types of dental materials, such as composite resin, porcelain fused to metal, porcelain, ceramics, or metal alloys, etc. When a dental crown is made, the material is often colored to match the natural teeth. Moreover, the dental crown dentist aims to ensure that your dental crown looks as natural and comfortable as possible in your mouth. The dental crown dentist would have to consider several factors to determine which dental material to use for your dental crown. These factors include:

  • The color or shade of your natural tooth
  • The amount of the restoration tooth that will show when you smile
  • Your preference
  • The position of the gum tissue
  • The location and function of the affected tooth

Dental Crown Procedure

The following are the procedures involved in getting a dental crown:

Numbing the Affected Tooth

The first step in getting a dental crown is numbing the affected tooth. The dental crown dentist uses a local anaesthetic to numb the affected tooth and surrounding tissues. This is because during tooth preparation or root canal treatment, the dental instruments may come very close to and hurt the gum tissue.

Taking Impressions of the Affected Tooth

The next step in the dental crown procedure involves taking impressions of the affected tooth. This is needed by the dental lab to create an accurate permanent dental crown that will fit perfectly to the crown for the affected tooth. If you chose the porcelain fused to metal crown or full ceramic material, the dental crown dentist is required to note the exact shade of your natural tooth to prepare the dental crown. The impressions are used to make a stone model of your tooth, which is sent to the lab to fabricate the permanent dental crown. These impressions are also used to fabricate a temporary crown in the dental office. This temporary crown is worn until the permanent crown is completed in the dental lab.

The dentist would also use a shade guide to record the exact color of your natural tooth. If necessary, you may need to visit the lab technician who will take a custom shade of the neighbouring teeth. However, choosing a gold dental crown renders shade determination of the affected tooth or neighbouring teeth moot.

Preparing the Affected Tooth

Since the dental crown looks exactly like the natural tooth, but with a hollow space inside to accommodate the natural tooth, it must be placed to take the size of the original tooth. In order to achieve this, the affected tooth enamel must be reduced (filed down) to accommodate the dental crown on top.

After administering a local anaesthetic, the dentist places a rubber dam over the affected tooth to trap water, tooth structure, and old filling material from falling into your mouth. The tooth preparation involves removing a small amount and filling material from the affected tooth. Removing the small amount involves shaping the tooth to create a fine margin around the entire tooth. This step is very important and generally takes the most time  in the dental crown procedure.

Taking the Final Impression

Once the tooth has been prepared, the dental crown dentist would take another accurate impression. This step is an important part of the dental crown procedure. Any mistake in this step would flaw the whole dental crown procedure resulting in an ill-fitting crown.

Placing the Temporary Crown

After the tooth preparation and final impression, the dentist places a temporary crown over the prepared tooth. This is not just done for cosmetic necessity, but for a number of important reasons.

By this point, your dentist has removed a substantial amount of your tooth enamel during tooth preparation. The temporary crown helps to protect the prepared tooth from unfavourable conditions. It also prevents the prepared tooth from shifting. Any shifting compromises the fit of the permanent crown.

Fixing the Permanent Crown

This is the last step involved in the dental crown procedure. It takes about 7 to 10 working days for the permanent crown to be completed. Once it is completed, the dentist moves to remove the temporary crown and replace it with the permanent crown. The dentist would have to numb the prepared tooth and surrounding tissues again with local anaesthetic, clean the prepared tooth thoroughly, and then place the permanent crown. Before cementing the permanent crown, the dentist must check the contact fit of the permanent crown.  No contacts or contacts that are too tight would pose a problem for patients in the long run. While no contact causes food particles to lodge in-between the teeth, tighter contact creates problems when flossing.

When the dentist is satisfied with the fit of the permanent crown, he or she begins the final cementation process for the dental crown. Depending on the type of cement used, a curing light may be applied to completely set the cement. The dentist uses a dental scaler to remove excess cement from around the tooth and gum line. The dentist also asks you to floss to get rid of the excess cement from the tooth.

Checking the Bite

It may take about 10 minutes for the cement to set. Once it sets, your dentist checks your bite and if necessary make some small adjustments to ensure that your new dental crown functions properly.

Post-Operative Instructions

Now that you have your new dental crown working properly, your dentist gives you some post-operative instructions to help you maintain your dental crown for a long time.

Do you have any questions or want to learn more about dental crown procedures? Contact professional dentists at Edge Dental Houston today.