What Steps are Involved in Preparing a Tooth for a Dental Crown?
Preparing a tooth for a dental crown usually requires two – three appointments – the first step involves examining and preparing the tooth, the second visit involves placement of the permanent crown.
Examining and preparing the tooth. At the first visit, your dentist may take a few x-rays to check the roots of the tooth receiving the dental crown and surrounding bone. If the tooth has extensive decay or if there is a risk of infection or injury to the tooth’s pulp, a root canal treatment may first be performed.
Before the process of making your dental crown is begun, your dentist will anaesthetize your tooth and the gum tissue around the tooth. Next, the tooth receiving the crown is filed down along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown. The amount removed depends on the type of dental crown used (for instance, all-metal crowns are thinner, requiring less tooth structure removal than all-porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal ones). If on the other hand, a large area of the tooth is missing (due to decay or damage); your dentist will use filling material to “build up” the tooth enough to support the crown.
After reshaping the tooth, your dentist will use impression paste or putty to make an impression of the tooth to receive the crown. Impressions of the teeth above and below the tooth to receive the dental crown will also be made to make sure that the crown will not affect your bite.
The impressions are sent to a dental laboratory where the dental crown will be manufactured. The crown is usually returned to your dentist’s office in 5 -14 days (in Budapest 5 and in London 14). Your dentist will also select the shade that most closely matches the colour of the neighbouring teeth. During this first office visit your dentist will make a temporary crown to cover and protect the prepared tooth while the crown is being made. Temporary crowns usually are made of acrylic and are held in place using a temporary cement.
Receiving the permanent dental crown. At your second visit, your dentist will remove your temporary crown and check the fit and colour of the permanent crown. If everything is acceptable, a local anaesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and the new crown is permanently cemented in place. Some degree of pain and sensitivity is normal for a weeks or so and the tooth should settle down naturally. Your new crown may require a small bite adjustment to achieve a comfortable fit.