In our previous blog, An Overview of Dentist Jargon, we defined the term crown and many other common terms that you are likely to hear at your family dentist. Today we are going to talk about dental crowns in more depth, explore the signs that you may need one, and go over the procedure. If you think you might be in need of a dental crown, make an appointment at Shore’s Family Dentistry today.

What Is a Dental Crown?

The general word crown refers to the top of your tooth. However, a dental crown replaces your natural crown when a tooth has a cavity too large to fill, or when an older filling falls out and there is not enough tooth to be repaired or refilled. The process itself is often called crown restoration. 

Dental crowns can also be referred to as dental caps. This name is especially fitting since it gives us a better idea of its function. A dental crown or cap is placed over the existing tooth to restore its natural shape and size.

Warning Signs That You May Need a Dental Crown

  • You’ve recently lost a filling and part of your tooth broke off or is in danger of breaking.
  • You have a large cavity or many cavities in the same tooth.
  • You have chipped a tooth.
  • Your dentist has told you that you’ll need a root canal.
  • You need a dental bridge.
  • You have excessive wear from grinding your teeth.

Dental Crown Procedure

Once your dentist decides that you need a crown, you will begin a process that takes two to three weeks and typically about three office visits. 

Your first visit typically occurs when you realize there is something wrong. This could be losing a filling, breaking a tooth, or another event that prompts you to make an appointment. This is when your dentist will assess the tooth and decide on the best plan of action. Once your dentist decides that you need a crown, they will take a preliminary impression. Once they have that impression, they use a selection of prefabricated caps and adjust it to fit your tooth. They will put your temporary crown on your tooth and have you set up your next appointment. 

During the next step, your dentist will remove the temporary cap and begin work on your tooth. They use a dental drill and other tools to remove the cavities and rough edges. They have to remove enough of the tooth to make room for your crown. 

After your tooth is cleaned and ready, the dentist or their assistant will take another impression of your tooth. This impression is extremely important because it is used to make your new permanent crown. They will also use a chart to decide on the shade of white to use, although other non-traditional choices for color and materials may be available as well. The dentist will replace your temporary crown and have you schedule another visit. 

On average, it takes about two weeks for your permanent crown to be prepared. Once your crown is ready, your dentist will put it in place. At this time, they will check to see if any adjustments are needed. This usually requires checking your bite several times to ensure the comfort of your new crown. Once the crown is properly fitted, your dentist will use a strong cement to permanently adhere it to your tooth. Follow your dentist’s instructions on after-care, and you should be able to eat and drink normally in no time. 

Let Shore’s Family Dentistry Care for Your Teeth!

At Shore’s Family Dentistry we care about you and your oral health. Whether you need a dental crown, wisdom tooth removal, teeth whitening, or are just due for a cleaning and some X-rays — we have you covered! Contact Shore’s Family Dentistry today to make an appointment with one of our Fort Collins dentists!