Dental crowns cover or ‘cap’ the visible part of the tooth and are one of our most versatile treatments. They consist of a hollow tooth-shaped restoration that is cemented firmly into place over the affected tooth. We use them to:
- Strengthen a tooth that has a large filling and little tooth structure remaining
- Top a dental implant and complete the restoration
- Protect a tooth left weakened following a root canal
- Conceal severe staining
- Improve the aesthetics of a misshapen tooth
The Dental Crown Procedure – What to Expect
Dental crowns can usually be completed in two visits spanning a few weeks.
The first dental visit
During this visit, your dentist will take x-rays to determine the extent of the damage or decay, check on the structure of the tooth, and decide whether root canal therapy is needed before placing a dental crown over the affected tooth.
If there isn’t enough tooth structure remaining to support a dental crown, it may be necessary to fill the tooth first.
Next, any tooth decay will be removed and your tooth will be shaped. To a certain extent, shaping will depend on the type of crown being used but the sides and top of the tooth will have to be shaved off to accommodate the crown. Typically, porcelain dental crowns require more of the tooth structure to be removed than metal crowns. \
Taking an impression
Finally, an impression will be taken of your prepared tooth to create a custom dental crown that fits snugly and comfortably over your tooth.
This done, you will be fitted with a temporary crown to wear while you wait for your permanent crowns to be fabricated.
Second dental visit
Once your permanent dental crowns are back from the lab, you’ll be asked back to the clinic to have your crown fitted.
The area is numbed with a local anaesthetic to ease any discomfort and the temporary crown is removed. The permanent crown is then placed over the tooth and cemented firmly into place.
The final step is for the dentist to make any small adjustments to ensure your jaws fit together properly and your bite is fully functional.
What does it feel like after the dental crown procedure?
The recovery period usually lasts a few days as your body heals from the irritation and inflammation associated with the treatment. Once the anaesthetic has worn off, it’s natural for patients to feel some sensitivity. Over the counter painkillers will help you manage any discomfort which should subside in a few days.
Dental crowns can feel strange in the mouth at first and they may need further adjustment to fit the shape of your mouth. If your bite doesn’t feel quite right after a few days, it’s best to contact your dentist for advice.
Dietary and oral care following the dental crown procedure
Once the crown has been placed and the numbing effects have worn off, patients should be able to eat all the foods they ate before. However, it’s best to avoid hard or sticky foods in the first 24 hours after the procedure to enable the crown to properly ‘set’ on the tooth.
Patients should also continue to practise meticulous oral care. While the crown itself cannot decay, it’s important to know that the natural part of the tooth beneath the crown can delay, especially in the area along the gumline. For this reason, it’s important for patients to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day.
If you want to learn more about dental crowns and how they can benefit you, why not contact Beyond 32 Dental at (02) 9158 6334 to schedule an appointment with our friendly experienced dentists.