To get a dental crown placed, it will require a minimum of two visits. The first visit will be for the examination and preparation of the tooth that is to be crowned. During this visit, an impression of the tooth will be made in order for the crown to be constructed. During this visit, a temporary crown is usually placed on the tooth in order to protect it.
During the second visit, the temporary crown is usually removed. Of course, this occurs after the crown has been constructed. Then, the permanent custom-made crown is put affixed in the place of the temporary crown.
1st Visit: Investigation, Impression, Temporary Crown
During this visit, an X-ray is taken. The X-ray is taken of everything from the tooth to the jawbone and the surrounding areas. This is to assist in the investigation checking for signs of decay and various other factors that could end up resulting in an infection or risking the pulp of the tooth. For some, a root canal procedure might be necessary in order to effectively place a crown on a tooth.
The tooth will need to be re-shaped in order to allow for there to be room to place the crown. However, each tooth is different. Therefore, the extent to which reshaping is required will ultimately depend on the tooth structure and the type of crown that is being used. Any crown that is metal will be thinner than porcelain crowns. Therefore, a metal crown will require less reshaping. During this process, both the top and sides of the tooth are carefully filed in order to reshape the tooth as needed. Any signs of tooth decay should be treated during the reshaping process.
For those that have experienced significant tooth decay and/or damage to the existing tooth, there might not be enough structure in order to place the crown. Therefore, the tooth might need to be filled in order to build up the structure enough in order to allow for effective crown placement.
Once the tooth has been reshaped successfully, the next step in the process is to create an impression of the reshaped tooth. That way, the crown will match the exact dimensions needed for the tooth. An impression not only needs to be created for the tooth itself but also the opposing tooth that will connect with the crown during a bite. That way, the crown will fit properly when biting.
These impressions are typically made using putty in order to effectively determine the shape of the tooth. This putty is spread over the entire area that needs to be copied. This helps to recreate the exact specifications of the tooth and the surrounding area. It is important to record all of the details about the tooth that might impact the final result of the production of the crown at this point. This means that the color of the surrounding teeth should be recorded in order to have the crown closely match that of the tooth it is being placed on and the surrounding teeth. That way, the crown closely resembles a natural tooth.
Lastly, a temporary crown is placed on top of the tooth in order to effectively protect it until the permanent crown has been designed and created. Once the permanent crown is ready, the temporary crown will be removed in order to make room for the permanent one.
2nd Visit: Placement Of Permanent Crown
During this, the impressions are sent to a specialized dental technician or laboratory in order to properly design and form the crown into its proper specifications. This entire process usually takes anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks. This is why it always requires more than a single dental visit to fit a permanent crown.
Once the lab has created the crown, it will be time for the crown to be placed. During this time, the temporary crown is removed. It is very important for the technician to ensure that the crown was designed to its proper specifications prior to permanent placement. This will help to ensure that the crown fits perfectly and that it closely resembles the other teeth.
During this process, a local anesthetic is typically administered in order to effectively numb the area to fit the crown. To permanently affix the crown to the tooth, dental cement is used. It is sometimes necessary to make small adjustments to the design of the crown if there are issues with the patient’s bite after placement.