The Dental Crown Procedure
Typically, the dental crown procedure is completed in two stages. During the first stage, we will prepare your natural tooth’s structure to accommodate the dental crown. Surrounding teeth may also be prepared in this way. An impression is made and sent to the lab, where your dental crown is created in about 6-7 days. A temporary crown will be in place between visits to ensure the most natural look and feel. When you return to the dentist’s office, the temporary crown is removed and your new, custom dental crown is securely bonded in place.
For some patients, the dental crown procedure is altered to meet specific goals. For example, if crowns are being utilized to anchor a dental bridge or as a dental implant, the steps in the dental crown procedure will be slightly different. Also, teeth with extensive damage may require that a root canal be performed prior to placing the crown. Additionally, new technology has made it possible to complete some dental crown procedures in a single office visit. A consultation with your dentist can help you better understand the unique steps in your dental crown procedure.
Replacing Old Dental Crowns
Individuals may be interested in replacing old dental crowns for a number of reasons. Concerns about the appearance of metal crowns on prominent teeth may compel some patients to have their dental work restored with all ceramic or porcelain crowns. Other times, dental crown problems like wear, decay, or poor fit may lead patients to inquire about replacing older dental crowns. Typically, patients should expect to replace their dental crowns after approximately 10 years.
Porcelain Crowns vs. Porcelain Veneers
Both porcelain crowns and porcelain veneers have unique advantages and limitations that make them appropriate for treating specific dental concerns. For example, all ceramic or porcelain dental crowns improve both the appearance and function of injured or damaged teeth. They cover and protect the entire surface area of the tooth, eliminating pain and restoring strength. Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, typically address only cosmetic concerns and are applied to otherwise healthy teeth. Stains, minor chips, misalignment, or other imperfections can be concealed with the thin porcelain shells, which slide over the front surface of teeth. Also, because they cover less of the natural tooth, less tooth structure has to be removed to accommodate porcelain veneers. A dentist can provide more information on porcelain crowns versus porcelain veneers and help determine which treatment is best for you based on cost and your unique goals and needs.