A Dental Crown

A crown is a metal or porcelain cap which sits over the tooth to either change the way it looks or to protect it from biting forces if it has been weakened by decay.  The following is a general outline of what will happen if you decide to have a crown however this can vary between teeth and patients.

  1. Pain free
    If needed, your dentist can numb the tooth and area so that you are comfortable during the procedure.  If at any stage you feel pain or sensitivity, let your dentist know and they will do what they can to make you more comfortable.
  1. Preparing the tooth
    In order the have room to place the crown (cap) on the tooth, the size of the tooth will have to be reduced.  The dentist will remove this bit by bit to ensure that only just the right amount is removed.  It may seem like a lot of tooth is being taken away but it is removed slowly and accurately.
  1. Taking moulds
    The crown is made in a dental laboratory.  In order for our specially trained lab technician to be able to make a crown that is tailor made to your tooth, they have to have a record of what the prepared tooth looks like and how it bites against the teeth in the other jaw.  In order to do this, your dentist will need to take moulds of your top and bottom teeth.  This starts as a runny material that becomes more rubbery as is sets.  This is not painful but can feel like a bit of a mouthful.
  2. Temporary Crow
    In order to prevent your prepared tooth from hurting or moving while you are waiting for your custom made crown to come back from the laboratory, your dentist will make a temporary crown.  This can be made from a variety of materials and will be placed over the prepared tooth.  It is important to be careful with this crown as it is only temporary so may fall off or break.  If this happens, you should contact your dentist for advice.
  3. Fitting the crown
    About one week after the first appointment your custom made crown will have returned from the laboratory.  At this stage you temporary crown will be removed, with anaesthetic to numb the tooth if required.  The custom crown will be placed and checked to see if it fits and bites correctly.  If it is a porcelain crown, the colour will also be checked.  Minor adjustments may be made to the crown to allow it to fit and bite well.  Once you and the dentist are happy, the crown will be cemented on the tooth.  Initially the crown may feel slightly high or slightly bulky but this will ease over time.