The Royal Treatment: Your Ultimate Guide to Dental Crowns

When a large cavity threatens the health of your tooth, your dentist may recommend you get a dental crown. Dental crowns are a type of dental care restoration treatment that securely caps a tooth, covering it to prevent further decay. You may also be recommended to get a crown if your tooth has been cracked, badly shaped, or has undergone a root canal procedure.

Crowns completely cover the affected tooth to restore its function and appearance and are securely bonded in place with dental cement. If you’re expecting to get a dental crown, here’s what you need to know to help you feel more confident about this restorative treatment.

What Is the Process of Getting a Crown?

Getting a dental crown typically takes about two visits to your local dentist’s office. This is because there are several steps involved in the process including:

  • Tooth preparation: Your dentist will remove any decay from your tooth. They will also remove the outer sides of the tooth to ensure the dental crown will fit securely in the mouth.
  • Building up the core: In some cases, if your crown will need more support to properly function, your dentist may perform a core buildup. This is a restorative dental care procedure that replaces some of the missing tooth structure with tooth-colored composite or filling material. This gives your affected tooth enough body to support the dental crown.
  • Tooth impression: Your dentist will either digitally scan your affected tooth or create a mold of the tooth. This allows for an exact model of the tooth to be made for your dental crown. When your dental crown matches the impression of the affected tooth, it will fit in your mouth more effectively and support your natural bite.
  • Temporary crown: It can take approximately two weeks for the mold of your crown to be made. During this time, you may be given a temporary crown. It’s important to note at this time that, because the crown is temporary, your affected tooth will be especially sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. It’s also not recommended to eat sticky foods or gum during this waiting period. However, depending on your dentist’s office, you may be able to get your dental crown on the same day in which case we move onto the final step.
  • Your new crown: When the mold of your crown is completed, your dentist will place the crown temporarily over your affected tooth. Based on how the crown looks and feels, your dentist will make the necessary adjustments to make sure the crown is comfortable. When both you and your dentist are happy with the crown, your dentist will use dental cement to carefully seal the crown to the affected tooth.

Types of Dental Crowns: What Are Crowns Made Of?

A crown can be made with different materials. You may be more familiar with a crown that’s made from base-metal alloys like nickel-chromium or alloys with a high gold content. These alloys are highly durable, making them ideal to restore the function of your tooth. However, when you have a crown that’s made from base-metal alloys, it’s obvious that it’s a crown.

This is why resin, ceramic, and porcelain crowns have become more popular in recent years. Ceramic and porcelain crowns, in particular, are considered to be one of the best cosmetic choices, especially for teeth that are in the front of the mouth. This is because ceramic and porcelain resemble the color of natural teeth and give your smile a natural appearance. Although a ceramic or porcelain crown may not be as durable as a metal crown, it can still last for many years when well-maintained.

Nervous About Getting a Dental Crown?

If you’re nervous about getting a crown, you’re not alone. Approximately 15% of Americans say they anxious or fearful of the dentist. Fortunately, you can use sedation dentistry during your appointment to get your dental crown if you’re too anxious. Sedation dentistry is designed specifically for patients who might be too nervous to visit the dentist but need dental care.

Loudoun Dental Associates offers sedation dentistry and other oral health treatments such as dental crowns and caps, fillings, and even dental implants. To learn more about our dental services or to schedule an appointment, contact your local dentists at Loudoun Dental Associates today.