Tooth decay can result in the need for a variety of different restorative treatments. If the decay is relatively minor, it can typically be removed by use of a dental drill or laser and then the remaining cavity is filled in with a filling material that improves tooth strength and seals up the area of exposed tooth. However, if decay is more extensive, a dental crown may be required to provide the strength needed so that the tooth functions properly.
While many people get crowns as a way of restoring teeth affected by extensive tooth decay, there are other reasons this dental procedure is performed. For example, if a tooth is badly chipped or cracked it may need to be covered to protect the remaining portion of the tooth and the root while providing a means for the tooth to look and function normally. Dental crowns can also be used to cover teeth that are badly discolored and need cosmetic enhancement. The dental restoration can also be used to cover a dental implant.
Whatever the reason is that you are undergoing this dental procedure, you may be wondering what to expect during your visit. In fact, a dental crown procedure generally takes two visits to complete. During the first appointment, your dentist will file down your existing tooth to serve as a base to hold the crown securely in place. This procedure may be slightly uncomfortable and for that reason, some patients elect to have an anesthetic administered prior to the work being performed. Once the tooth is successfully filed down, the dentist will then take an impression of your mouth so that the lab can make the tooth restoration fit perfectly in the space needed. When the impression is completed, the dentist will place a temporary crown over the abutment (your filed down tooth) so you can leave the office with a tooth that looks and functions like a normal tooth.
The impression is then sent to the lab where the permanent crown will be fabricated to precisely fit the space where it needs to go. Crowns can be made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, ceramic or a resin composite, however porcelain provides the most strength and beauty.
Once the crown is completed, you will then return to the dentist for a follow-up visit. At this visit, your dentist will make sure that the restoration fits properly and, assuming it does, will permanently secure the dental crown in your mouth using a permanent adhesive. Your bite will then be tested for comfort and any minor adjustments made as necessary. You will walk out with a tooth that looks and functions just like your natural teeth. It may take a little bit of getting used to, but you should quickly forget about the fact that your crown is any different from the other teeth in your mouth.
For more information about dental crowns, contact Gentle Dental in Queens at 718-461-0100.