When a cracked, chipped, or missing tooth does more than hold back your ability to show off your pearly whites, you may make the decision to do something about it. While there are many options for a smile makeover, dental crowns offer a unique solution to fix the smile that’s been troubling you for years. Learn all about porcelain crowns, who they are for, and what exactly to expect during a dental crown procedure. From there, you and your dentist can decide if a dental crown procedure is right for you.
What Exactly is a Dental Crown?
If you didn’t already know, a porcelain crown is a small tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a damaged tooth. Dental crowns are used to restore the tooth to its original size, strength, shape, and integrity. Crowns are ideal for improving your appearance and restoring the functionality of your teeth.
What Can Dental Crowns Do?
Crowns can work to:
- Mask misshapen or discolored teeth
- Secure a dental bridge in place
- Support and cover a filling when there isn’t sufficient tooth left
- Protect a tooth weakened from tooth decay from incurring further damage
- Hold parts of a cracked tooth together
- Restore the integrity and function to a severely worn down tooth or one that is already broken
What Happens During a Porcelain Crown Procedure?
The First Visit
In most cases, you will have to make two separate visits to prepare for a dental crown. The first visit involves examining and preparing for the porcelain crown. During the initial visit, your dentist will take X-rays of your mouth and examine the root of your tooth and the surrounding bone. If there is significant tooth decay or infection, your dentist may perform a root canal first.
Before any work is done in your mouth, your dentist will numb the area with anesthesia. Then, the tooth that is receiving the crown is filed down. Alternatively, if you have a missing tooth, the dentist may use filling material to build up the tooth to support the crown. After the tooth has been reshaped, your dentist will use putty or paste to make a mold of the tooth receiving the crown. This mold will effectively ensure the crown will fit and not hamper your bite.
After your dentist has matched the color of your tooth to the porcelain, the dental impression is sent to a lab where your porcelain crown will be fabricated. Your dentist will also provide you with a temporary crown to protect your tooth while the permanent replacement is made.
The Second Visit
In most cases, the permanent porcelain crown is fabricated and sent back to the dentist office within a few weeks. When you return for your second visit, your dentist will take out the temporary crown and make sure the permanent crown fits properly. Your dentist will check your bite, examine the fit of the crown, and make sure the color matches properly. Once everything has checked out, the dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area, and your new crown will be cemented in place permanently.
Receiving a dental crown isn’t a major procedure, but it does have major benefits. After your crown has been placed, you will be able to smile more confidently. Best of all, taking care of your porcelain crown is as simple as brushing your own teeth. With minimal downtime, you will be ready to start eating your favorite foods and showing off your porcelain crown within a few days of receiving the replacement.