Everything You Need to Know About a Dental Crown

During one of your routine checkups, did your Newport Beach dentist spot a tooth that needs a dental crown? A dental crown is a common treatment that people get on a daily basis, but to you it might be something you’ve never encountered. Here is a breakdown of everything you’ll need to know about the entire dental crown process and what to expect.

Dental Crowns: What They Are

A dental crown is a thin shell that’s typically made from some sort of porcelain or even metal. These restorations are made to look, feel, and function like your natural teeth. The artificial tooth (“cap”) slides over your natural tooth and is adhered permanently with a strong dental cement.

Dental Crowns: When They’re Needed

The main purpose of a dental crown is to protect a tooth. As such, this restoration is commonly placed to protect a weak tooth that’s experienced some sort of trauma.  For example, if a piece of your natural tooth broke off, you have a large filling that needs to be replaced, you’ve had root canal therapy, or you have a tooth that’s severely worn down, then our Newport Beach dentist may recommend that you get a dental crown placed.

 Dental Crowns: How to Get One

The dental crown process is a multi-step procedure that may take anywhere from 1-2 appointments to complete.

In the beginning, the “prep” stage is where our dentist will need to reduce your natural tooth to make room for the crown to fit over it (and be sure that it aligns properly with your other teeth.)

Once that step is complete, we’ll need to get a replica of your prepped tooth and overall bite.  There are two ways to do this.  The first option is to get an impression of your teeth by putting a putty-filled tray in your mouth that will record a mold. The other option is to get a 3-D digital image by using a wand to scan your teeth.

Our dentist and/or the professional laboratory technician will use the replica of your teeth to design and fabricate your new dental crown.

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It may be possible that this is completed while you wait in the treatment room, however, sometimes it will take a while to design your crown, and you’ll come back another day to get it put on.

If you’ll need to come back to get your permanent crown, we’ll make you a temporary one to wear in the meantime. Temporary crowns are made from a plastic-like material and intended to only last a few weeks. They adhere to your natural tooth with a mild cement, so while you’re wearing your temporary you’ll need to be gentle with it because it is possible that it can pop off.

Once your permanent restoration is complete, it’s time for the final step in the dental crown process.  If you wore a temporary, then you’ll return to our office and we’ll remove the provisional crown, then clean up your natural tooth. Oftentimes this seating portion of your dental crown procedure can be done without anesthesia.

When we try the new crown on, we’ll check that it fits right. Some things that we look for are that the natural tooth is completely covered, that the sides aren’t too loose or too tight against the adjacent teeth, and that when you bite down the crown comes together correctly with your opposing teeth. Minor corrections can be made chairside to tweak the crown as needed.

When our Newport Beach dentist is satisfied with the permanent crown fit, we’ll fill the inside of it with cement and place it on your natural tooth. Some types of cement cure in seconds with the use of a special light, while others may take several minutes to dry. After removing the excess cement from around the gum line, your new crown is ready to go.

Caring for Your Dental Crown

The most important thing to remember when you have a new dental crown is that your natural tooth is still underneath it, meaning that your tooth is still vulnerable to developing decay at the gum line. This is the most common reason that people have to get a dental crown prematurely removed and replaced.

A well cared for dental crown has the potential to last as long as 20 years. Regular brushing at the gums and flossing between your teeth is crucial for ensuring the longevity of your cap.

Where to Get a Dental Crown in Newport Beach

If you’re looking for the best Newport Beach dentist to make your dental crown, then look no further than The Center For Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Yazdan and her professional staff are ready to take care of all your dental needs.  For a smile that you’ll be proud of, call us today!

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