How Your Dentist Preps You For A Crown

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Crowns (or caps) can create the look of a natural tooth when the underlying material is inadequate to support a filling. Often, a crown is added after a root canal procedure, but crowns can be installed on any tooth that is free of decay. The final product is a long-lasting tooth that matches your bite and current teeth shades perfectly. Before that happens, however, your dentist must prepare you for the crown. Read on to learn more.

Tooth Preparation

A crown is not just meant to look good, it must perform just like a natural tooth. That means it must fit to a precise degree up against the prepared natural tooth and as flush with the gum line as possible. Any gaps could cause the infiltration of bacteria with a resulting infection, and ruin the tooth material under the crown. The dentist will use dental instruments to shape your natural tooth into a certain design that assures the best fit for the crown. You will be numbed for this procedure using an injection.

First Impressions

To ensure your new crown matches your usual smile, your dentist will take an impression of your bite. The impression must be carefully performed and this part of the process can take some time. Sometimes, your gums will need to be retracted slightly and the dentist will use a retraction cord to push your gums away from the tooth. Once your gums are out of the way, the dentist applies a material to your tooth and the surrounding area, and a tray of impression material is mixed. This tray is inserted into your mouth and you will be told to bite down on the wax-like material for a set period of time. This can be slightly uncomfortable not because it's painful, but because you must stay perfectly still for several minutes while the impression is set.

The Temporary Crown

Since it can take some time for the final crown to be created in the dental lab, the dentist will make a temporary crown to cover the tooth. Using the same impression that was prepared for the permanent crown, a resin material tooth is fabricated. The shade for the temporary crown is matched to your other teeth and will be used for the permanent crown. The temporary crown is placed on your tooth using dental cement once the resin has set.

While you wait for your permanent crown to be ready, be sure to follow the directions your dentist gives you about caring for your temporary crown. It's not as strong as a permanent tooth and special eating and cleaning instructions may be provided.

For more information about the crown procedure, speak to someone such as James V Bachman DMD.