The Ultimate Guide to the Dental Crown Procedure: A Step-by-Step Process

The Ultimate Guide to the Dental Crown Procedure: A Step-by-Step Process By Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho | August 17, 2023

One might not realise how much a damaged or broken tooth can impact oral health and even overall well-being. It’s more than just a matter of appearance; it’s about maintaining a healthy smile and a confident lifestyle. A viable solution for many is to explore dental crowns as a way to protect and restore their natural teeth.

In this blog post, we will take you on an enlightening journey through the dental crown procedure. We’ll start with the basics of dental crowns, explain when you might need one, and walk you through the procedure step by step. We will also:

  • Talk about dental crown care
  • Provide tips on preparing for a dental crown
  • Discuss the risks of dental crowns

So, stay with us as we navigate the path to a healthier, happier and more attractive smile.

Summary of the Content:

  • Dental crowns serve as a durable and functional restoration for extensively damaged teeth, helping to prevent tooth loss.

  • Dental crowns are used for protection, restoration, and coverage.

  • The dental crown procedure involves consultation, tooth preparation, taking impressions, crown fabrication, and crown placement.

  • Proper care of a dental crown involves maintaining good oral hygiene, limiting hard or sticky foods, regular dental check-ups, wearing a mouth guard if needed, and monitoring for sensitivity.

  • Maintaining dental crown care post-procedure is crucial and involves good oral hygiene practices, reducing consumption of hard and sticky foods, attending regular dental check-ups, and wearing a mouth guard if one grinds their teeth.

  • Despite the benefits, certain risks are associated with dental crowns, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and crown detachment, which underlines the importance of proper care and regular dental service.

The Basics of Dental Crowns

A dental crown is essentially a ‘cap’ that a dentist places over a tooth. It is a long-lasting, functional, and natural-looking restoration responsible for restoring tooth shape, size, and strength and enhancing its appearance. The purposes of dental crowns are as follows:

  • To Protect:
    Dental crowns are an excellent restoration that protects weak teeth from breaking or holding together parts of a cracked tooth.

  • To Restore:
    If you have a damaged or decayed tooth, a crown can restore it to its original shape and size.

  • To Cover:
    For discoloured or misshapen teeth, a dental crown can help improve your smile’s appearance by covering the affected tooth.

There are different types of crowns that you can choose from based on your individual needs:

  • Porcelain Crowns:
    Also called ceramic crowns, these are popular due to their natural appearance. They can mimic natural tooth colour, making them an ideal choice for front teeth restorations.

  • Metal Crowns:
    These include gold alloy crowns and other metal alloys. While not as visually pleasing as porcelain, metal crowns are highly durable and longer-lasting.

  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal Crowns:
    This combines the features of a porcelain crown and a metal crown. It can be colour matched with natural teeth, and it is strong enough to withstand high forces.

  • Same-Day Crowns:
    With modern dental technology, some dental offices can create your custom crown in a single visit.

When is a Dental Crown Needed?

professional dentist in medical mask checking condition of teeth and cavity

A dental crown might be necessary in the following situations:

  • Large Filling:
    A crown can provide extra protection and support if a tooth has a large filling.

  • Root Canal Therapy:
    After a root canal treatment, the tooth becomes brittle. Dental crowns can protect the restored tooth.

  • Dental Implants:
    Crowns are used to complete the dental implant process by covering the implant post and abutment.

  • Tooth Wear:
    Excessive wear due to grinding or acid reflux can cause the structure of the teeth to wear away. Crowns can restore these teeth.

Crowns can address several dental issues, including:

  • Decayed Teeth:
    If a tooth has extensive decay, your dentist might recommend a crown after the decay has been removed and filled. This will provide additional support and protection to the weakened tooth.

  • Discoloured Teeth:
    When teeth whitening is not an option, crowns can offer a solution for severely discoloured teeth.

  • Misshapen Tooth:
    For teeth that have an irregular shape, a crown can help to improve the appearance of your smile.

Dental crowns offer a versatile solution to a range of dental issues. Whether it’s restoring the function of a tooth or improving the appearance of your smile, crowns have you covered.

Detailed Steps of the Dental Crown Procedure

In the realm of dental restoration, knowledge is power. So, let’s walk through the dental crown procedure step by step:

  1. Initial Visit and Consultation:
    Your dentist will discuss the dental crown treatment plan and explain the dental crown procedure during the initial appointment. You’ll undergo an X-ray examination to assess the condition of your tooth structure.

  2. Crown Preparation:
    The dentist will reshape your tooth to make room for the crown. The extent of reshaping depends on the type of crown you’re getting.

  3. Impressions:
    After reshaping, a dental or digital impression of your prepared tooth and adjacent teeth is taken. This accurate impression or scan is sent to an off-site lab or used on-site to create a 3D model of your crown.

  4. Temporary Crown Placement:
    While waiting for your final dental crown, a temporary crown is placed over the reshaped tooth to protect it.

  5. Crown Creation:
    An off-site dental laboratory or in-office scanning device and milling machine create your custom-made crown from the selected material.

  6. Dental Crown Placement:
    Once your dental crown is ready, your dentist will place it over your tooth and adjust it for a good fit and bite. A dental adhesive is used to secure the crown.

How to Prepare for Your Dental Crown Procedure

Preparing for a dental crown procedure can contribute to a smoother process and better results. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Understand the Procedure:
    Familiarise yourself with the dental crown treatment procedure. Remember that this treatment requires the removal of a large outer layer of natural tooth structure, making it a slightly invasive procedure. Ask your dentist any questions you have during the consultation.

  • Choose Your Crown Material:
    Discuss the different crown materials with your dentist, from porcelain and zirconia to gold and base metal alloy crowns. Select the one that suits your needs and preferences.

  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene:
    Maintain healthy teeth and gums leading up to the procedure. Brush and floss regularly to keep your mouth clean.

  • Arrange for Transportation:
    Depending on the extent of the procedure, you may need someone to drive you home afterwards.

  • Eat a Good Meal:
    You might need to fast before the procedure if sedation is part of your treatment plan, so eat a substantial meal the night before.

  • Rest Well:
    Get a good night’s sleep before the procedure. A well-rested body can better handle the treatment and recovery.

  • Wear Comfortable Clothing:
    Dress comfortably on the day of the procedure. Avoid wearing jewellery or excessive makeup.

  • Prepare for Recovery:
    Have soft, easy-to-eat foods at home for after the procedure. Avoid sticky or hard foods that could dislodge your temporary crown.

Caring for Your Dental Crown Post-Procedure

After going through the dental crown procedure, caring for the new crown is crucial. Here are some tips to help keep your dental crown in top condition:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene:
    Brush and floss regularly. Focus particularly on the area where the gum meets the tooth, as plaque can gather there, causing decay.

  • Limit consumption of sticky or hard foods:
    They can potentially dislodge the crown or cause damage.

  • Regular dental check-ups:
    Regular visits to your dentist for a thorough clean and check-up can help detect potential issues early, such as decay under the crown.

  • Wear a mouth guard if you grind your teeth:
    Grinding can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your crown.

  • Look out for sensitivity:
    If you notice sensitivity or pain when you bite down, get in touch with your dentist. This could indicate that the crown is too high on the tooth.

Understanding the Risks and Complications

While a dental crown is a common dental procedure, it is not without its potential risks and complications. It is crucial to understand the risks of dental crowns to maintain a beautiful smile:

  • Dental caries (decay):
    Even with a crown, the underlying tooth is still vulnerable to decay, especially at the margin where the tooth and crown meet. Neglecting proper oral hygiene can result in food debris and plaque buildup, increasing the risk of decay. This issue can become severe if sticky foods are frequently consumed, as they can adhere to the crown and tooth, promoting decay.

  • Periodontal disease (gum disease):
    Plaque around the crown can lead to gingivitis, which, if not addressed immediately, could progress to periodontitis, risking the loss of the tooth. Regular and thorough brushing and flossing can help prevent this disease.

  • Crown detachment:
    The crown can come off due to the failure of the cement or the core or tooth damage. If this happens, keeping the crown and contacting your dentist immediately is essential. Consuming hard foods can contribute to crown detachment, so it’s advisable to be mindful of your diet.

  • Allergic reactions:
    Although rare, some individuals might experience allergic reactions to the materials used in the crown. If you notice any unusual symptoms after the crown placement, you should inform your professional dentist right away.

  • Tooth loss:
    In severe cases where the decay has progressed extensively, or the tooth under the crown has fractured, tooth extraction may be necessary. This underlines the importance of regular check-ups to monitor the health of your teeth under the crown and to identify any potential problems early.

Despite these risks of dental crowns, the benefits are significant. They restore the functionality of your teeth, improve the aesthetic of your smile, and protect your teeth from further damage. However, crowns do not last forever and will likely need replacement at some point. Regular dental visits will help determine when a crown replacement is needed so your smile remains as beautiful as ever.

Final Thoughts

Having a dental crown procedure is a significant step towards restoring the function and appearance of your teeth. It’s essential to be aware of proper dental crown care and its potential risks, from preparing for a dental crown procedure to post-treatment care.

We hope this guide has provided you with useful information to make an informed decision. At Darch Dental Centre, we strive to provide quality dental service, including dental crown treatment. Our team of experienced dentists is equipped with advanced dental care technology and a wide range of dental crown materials, from resin crowns to durable and natural-looking porcelain crowns.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have further questions or if you’re ready to start your journey toward a beautiful, natural-looking smile with our dental crown procedure. Contact us through our website or call our dental clinic to book a dental appointment today. Our team is always ready to provide you with advanced dental care and help you achieve a brighter smile.

Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho

Dr. Jon is a Perth-based dentist who graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Science in 2005 from the University of Western Australia. He has worked at a range of dental practices, including being a partner and principal dentist for a group of five dental surgeries in Sydney. Dr. Jon has been practising for over a decade in the northern suburbs of Perth. He provides treatment for patients in Darch, Madeley, Landsdale, Kingsway, Kingsley, Marangaroo, Alexander Heights, Wangara, Ellenbrook, and others.

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