The Dental Crown Procedure
Your oral care provider might recommend getting a dental crown for a few different reasons:
- Protecting a decayed or damaged tooth
- Covering a tooth mostly covered with a filling
- Securing a dental bridge
- Covering a discolored or misshapen tooth
- Protecting a dental implant
- Covering a tooth that’s undergone a root canal
The dental crown procedure typically happens over the course of two appointments. You might be wondering: does a dental crown hurt? While you may experience some sensitivity, your dentist will likely give you an anesthetic, just like they would with a filling.
Your first appointment: Your oral care provider will examine the tooth and prepare it for a crown. They’ll also take X-rays of the tooth and surrounding bone and file down the tooth. The amount of filing will depend on the type of crown you’re receiving—for instance, metal crowns do not need as much tooth removed as porcelain crowns. In some cases, you might need a root canal if there is a risk of infection, tooth decay, or injury to the tooth’s nerves or blood vessels (also known as pulp).
Once the tooth is filed down and ready, your oral care provider will make an impression of the tooth that’s receiving the crown using paste. They will also take an impression of the teeth above the crown, so the crown can correctly fit with your bite. At this point, the impression is sent to a lab to create the crown, which takes about two to three weeks. Your dentist will give you a temporary crown to wear to protect your teeth between your first and second visit.
Your second appointment: Now it’s time to get your crown placed. Your oral care provider will remove your temporary crown, check the color, shape, and fit of your new crown, and permanently cement it in place. Your oral care provider might use a numbing agent to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible.