Learning that you may need a crown for your tooth can sound a little scary at first, but rest assured that crowns are very good things! They serve to protect your teeth from further damage, acting as a durable cover for your existing tooth. Crowns are recommended for many reasons—like damage to the tooth or weakness from old fillings, replacement of a missing part of the tooth, or support for a bridge. Whatever the cause, here’s the general process for how a crown is placed, so you can put your fears to rest!
Although the process of making a custom crown for your tooth usually requires a few appointments, your first will be an evaluation of the damaged tooth to determine the cause of the damage, and what needs to be done to fix it. This appointment will typically include x-rays to check the root of the tooth and surrounding structures, so that Dr. Schultz can determine the best treatment for you. This might also include discussing what kind of material will be best for the crown itself, which can depend on the location and surrounding tissues. Generally, the crown can be matched to your existing tooth color so no one even knows it’s there!
Preparing for the Crown
The second appointment usually involves preparing your tooth for the crown. Depending on the reason for the crown, certain steps need to be taken. If there’s any decayed (think cavity) or compromised (think cracked) tooth structure remaining, it’ll need to be removed first. The tooth will then need to be shaped so that there’s enough room for the crown. Don’t worry, though—medication is administered at this step so you’re comfortable and relaxed, and the amount of tooth structure removed is minimal. After this is done, an impression of the tooth is taken so it can be sent to a lab technician for creation of a crown that’s custom-made for you! We’ll put a temporary crown in place until your customized crown arrives.
Placing the Crown
Once your crown is ready, the temporary one will be removed and the fit of your customized crown will be checked. If everything looks and feels perfect, the crown is then cemented in place so it’s permanently attached to your tooth. Dr. Schultz will then give you care instructions for your new crown, and send you on your way!