Know what to expect from your treatment.
There’s a popular saying that preparation is the key to success. We’ve found that the saying has a lot of truth to it, whether you’re going about your daily life or preparing for a specific event. It’s especially true in dentistry. If you’re planning on getting a dental treatment such as a dental crown, it’s always a great idea to understand what the process is before your procedure.
Doing this can be surprisingly fascinating, but it also makes the treatment process easier. After all, knowing what to expect often means you’ll feel less anxious about the procedure itself.
Understanding a treatment like a dental crown will also help ensure your crown lasts as long as possible. Our goal is to give you long-lasting results with as easy a process as possible, so we’ve gathered information on what you need to know about getting a dental crown into this dental crown makeover tutorial.
Why You May Need a Dental Crown
Dental crowns are a very versatile treatment, so there’s a wide range of reasons you may need or want one. Most often, they are used to repair a damaged tooth and protect it from future injury or decay. They’re so good at this that they can even save a severely damaged tooth that may otherwise need to be removed! Dental crowns can protect weak teeth and repair a tooth that has been broken, worn down, severely cracked or chipped, or has suffered extensive decay that can’t be repaired with dental fillings.
In these cases, dental crowns restore the tooth’s health and functionality for years to come, all while also restoring and protecting the appearance of your natural tooth!
Modern dental materials have become so natural-looking that dental crowns are also used for largely cosmetic purposes, such as to improve the appearance of a crooked, misshapen, or severely discolored tooth. They’re used for this because they match the gloss of natural teeth and are custom-made to match the size, shape, and shade of your natural teeth. No matter why you’re getting a dental crown, this allows it to blend in with your smile so well that no one will realize you have one!
Scheduling a Consultation With Your Dentist
If you suspect that you need a dental crown, the first and easiest step you can take is to schedule a consultation with your dentist. This consultation is the ideal time to ask Dr. Rob questions and discuss your treatment needs and wants with him. Taking the time to have this conversation helps ensure that you have the information you need to embrace the treatment that will help you most.
It also ensures that Dr. Rob has the information he needs to make the best treatment recommendations for you as well as to craft a beautiful dental crown that does its job well—right down to giving you a smile you’ll love and feel confident with! You don’t have to make any “right-now” decisions during this consultation, either. If you need to take time to think about it, feel free to go home and call us when you’ve decided!
Deciding What Type of Dental Crown You’d Like
When you decide to get a dental crown, you might wonder about the names of the crown materials. Maybe you’ve heard of a variety of crown materials, ranging from gold to porcelain to zirconia. Learning a bit about these different crown materials can help you better understand your dentist’s crown recommendations.
Gold crowns are strong and durable, but they’re most often used on back molars because they’re very visible in your mouth. Most people want a crown that will blend in with their natural teeth, which has made porcelain and zirconia crowns such good options. The size, shape, and shade of porcelain and zirconia crowns are designed specifically for you to ensure they blend in with your natural teeth and become a beautiful part of your smile.
The biggest difference between porcelain and zirconia crowns comes down to durability. Porcelain crowns are about as durable as your natural teeth, but they are vulnerable to chipping, cracking, and breaking, so you have to be more careful with the way you treat them. Zirconia crowns, however, are a type of ceramic crown made from a naturally white metal related to titanium. So while they’re good at blending in with your natural smile, they also benefit from the strength of metal, making them much more resistant to damage. Their strength also means that the crown itself can be made thinner, so Dr. Rob won’t have to remove as much natural tooth structure during the preparation process—and that’s generally better for your long-term oral health!
Zirconia is a newer material in dental crown design, but our team at Valley Dental Clinic recommends it because of its long list of benefits.
Getting Your Tooth Ready for a Dental Crown
It generally takes two appointments over the course of a couple of weeks to receive a dental crown. Your first appointment focuses on laying the groundwork for your permanent crown. Dr. Rob will begin your tooth crown procedure by numbing the area around your tooth before performing any necessary work on it.
If you need a root canal or a cavity removed, he’ll do that during this stage. He will also prepare your tooth for the crown by shaping it, which means carefully shaving it down on the sides and top. This will allow the crown to slip into place over your natural tooth without changing its size.
Dr. Rob will then take an impression of your teeth, which will be used to create your permanent dental crown, giving specially trained lab technicians information about the size and shape your crown needs to be to fit into your bite comfortably and naturally. The final step of your first visit is simply for Dr. Rob to place a temporary crown over your tooth.
This temporary crown will protect your tooth and restore its functionality while you wait for your permanent crown to be designed and fabricated in an outside lab. Once Dr. Rob has ensured that this temporary crown fits comfortably, you’ll be able to go home with it. If you were feeling pain or discomfort from an injury or severe decay, you should begin to feel better immediately after this stage of the process, which is a huge plus!
Ensuring Your Crown Fits Properly
Once your permanent crown is ready, you can come back to our office so Dr. Rob can place it. This part of the tooth crown process is pretty simple. Dr. Rob will numb the area again before removing your temporary crown and replacing it with your permanent crown.
Before he cements your crown in place permanently, however, he’ll check to make sure that it fits perfectly. To do this, he’ll have you bite down on something to leave an impression. He’ll also ask you how it feels when you bite down and when your mouth is at rest to make sure it’s comfortable and that chewing feels natural. Once he’s sure it fits properly, he’ll cement it in place and you can go home good as new!
In the days following your procedure, you might be a little sore, though most people have no problems. As you start healing, you’ll be able to pay attention to how well your crown is fitting. But what should you look for? The biggest clue is comfort. Your crown should feel natural, and you shouldn’t notice it!
A few telltale signs of a needed repair are if your bite feels uneven, chewing feels awkward or painful, or if you’re noticing that the crown is exerting pressure against neighboring teeth. Similarly, if the crown feels loose or if more food is getting stuck around it than other teeth, it may not be bonded well or there may be too much space between it and your other teeth.
Don’t worry, though! If you notice any problems, you can always call our office and schedule an appointment to have Dr. Rob adjust your crown!
Learn more about dental crowns with the help of the Valley Dental Clinic team.
Understanding the process of getting a dental crown helps you realize that it’s actually pretty straightforward, and afterward, you’ll often feel much better! Choosing the best dentist in Wasilla, Alaska, to place your crown makes it even easier because you’ll know you can trust your dentist to do a spectacular job designing and placing your crown, giving you results that look and feel natural. If you’d like to start the process or simply want to learn more, feel free to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rob at any time.