When a tooth becomes damaged or decayed beyond repair a dental crown is a good solution for functionality and aesthetics. A dental crown is always a reliable option for repairing even the most severe of dental problems, such as replacing missing teeth to offer a complete smile and a functional bite.
At Valley Dental Care, we have helped many patients to achieve a complete smile makeover using dental crowns for cosmetic dentistry. This dental procedure is also used for a long-lasting correction of major dental problems. In the following article, we will explore some questions that you may have before receiving a new dental crown!
Do I Need a Dental Crown?
The following are reasons that you may need a dental crown.
- Severely decayed tooth
- Fractured or broken teeth
- Tooth with an old root canal
- Restoring a dental implant
- Tooth damage beyond the point of a root canal
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a custom-shaped tooth that covers a damaged tooth to restore its shape, size, strength and improve its appearance. After careful preparation of the tooth, a dental crown is firmly cemented into place and fully encases the tooth from above the gum line.
How Long Does a Dental Crown Procedure Last?
Because a dental crown procedure requires 2 visits, it takes longer than a filling or root canal. The following is what to expect during these two appointments at our El Paso dental office.
The first visit
In the first visit, the dentist will evaluate the affected tooth with a full exam and X-rays during your dental crown consultation. The dentist may then administer a local anesthetic to prevent any discomfort or pain. Then, with the help of a hand-held drill, the tooth is shaved down to make room for the crown that will be cemented to the top of the prepared tooth. When the tooth has been shaved down to the proper height and size, an impression of your teeth will be taken to create your new custom crown. The dentist will then match the patient’s tooth color for a more natural look.
A temporary crown will then be placed to cover and protect the tooth until the next visit. The impressions and tooth color are then sent to the dental laboratory where technicians will fabricate the new crowns. This first dental visit can take anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes. Dental laboratories generally require two weeks to send the crown back to our office.
The second visit
Because the crown takes 2 weeks to arrive, the second appointment is scheduled for two weeks after the first. On the second visit, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and clean the tooth to receive the new one. The new crown is then fitted on top of the prepared tooth to check for any size, shape, or biting issues. You may be asked to bite normally with the new crown in your mouth to determine whether there are any problems with it.
Finally, the crown is permanently cemented and set in place on the affected natural tooth with the help of a strong luting cement. It is then polished to give the porcelain a natural-looking shine.
Will a Dental Crown Procedure Be Painful?
In general, some patients may experience mild discomfort and sensitivity after having a new dental crown installed. While it is safe to eat and drink relatively soon after the procedure, dentists usually recommend avoiding extremely hot or cold items for a few days, as well as chewy, crunchy or tough foods.
What Happens After a Dental Crown?
The recovery period after a dental crown procedure typically lasts for a few days, as the body recovers from the irritation and inflammation associated with the procedure. It is normal for patients to experience some sensitivity, discomfort or pain initially, which should subside after the first few days. If the discomfort or pain lasts for longer than that, make sure to contact our office and dentist so that we can take the proper measures to relieve the pain and make sure there are no problems with it.