You just received news from your dentist that you need a dental crown, but you have no idea what that entails. This is a common reaction from many dental patients. It’s natural to be nervous about a procedure you don’t know much about. To that effect, here is everything you need to know about your dental crown procedure.
Prior to receiving the crown, it is common to have a consultation visit where your dentist will go over preparation processes for the procedure and take impressions of your existing tooth in order to create the right sized and shaped crown. During this consultation, a temporary crown might be placed on the damaged tooth to safeguard it until the final placement.
During a second appointment, the new dental crown will be placed and secured in. Some patients may require a local anesthetic; however this is generally painless to the majority of patients. The dentist will make sure the crown properly fits the tooth and its neighboring teeth. Once both you and your dentist are content with the crown as a whole, the crown can be cemented in position and any extra dental cement will be scraped away by the dentist.
After the placement of a crown, your dentist will give you with details about proper care for your new crown. Typical practices of brushing twice daily and flossing will help prevent the growth of plaque and gum disease. Make sure you avoid chewing ice or other hard foods, grinding or clenching your teeth, and biting your fingernails, as these can lead to damage of the dental crown.
Dental Crown Materials
Crowns can be made of several materials according to the need of the patient:
- Ceramic crowns are generally more esthetically pleasing given that the material makes them look very similar to natural teeth. These crowns do not require any metal and are able to use less material, which makes them a great option for a restricted space in the mouth. The durability of the all-cement crown is good, but should not be used for people who have a tendency to grind or clench their teeth.
- Porcelain crowns are the second most natural looking option. The metal on the inside of the crown takes away some of the translucency in the porcelain, but it adds needed durability and support. It is essential to be aware that as gum recession occurs, the metal portion of the crown can become visible.
- A gold crown is not as popular as it used to be, mainly for esthetic reasons. Having said that, a gold crown has a lot to offer in strength and durability, especially for molars and people who clench or grind their teeth. Gold is a good choice material when thinking about the wear and tear on the bordering teeth, since it tends to be less abrasive than porcelain.