Dental crowns are a valuable tool in modern dentistry. Crowns allow dentists to preserve teeth that otherwise might have to be extracted. Here are four facts about the dental crown procedure for patients to study:
1. Your dental crown will be made to fit your tooth.
Dental crowns are not prefabricated because every patient's teeth are arranged in a way that is particular to their mouth. Instead, your dental crown will be custom-made to fit your tooth using an impression that your dentist will take of your bite. In the meantime, your dentist will place a temporary crown over your tooth to protect it until your real dental crown can be applied.
2. You may need another dental procedure before your dental crown is installed.
Dental crowns can be applied in a standalone dental procedure, but this procedure often goes hand-in-hand with others. For instance, dental crowns are often applied after a patient receives a root canal. Sometimes, dental crowns are applied after particularly large cavities are removed via drilling. This is because dental crowns are often used to protect fragile teeth from breakage. Both root canals and large fillings weaken the structural integrity of a tooth, making dental crowns necessary.
3. You may feel some discomfort when your dental crown is installed.
The process of installing a dental crown does not require any additional drilling. However, some patients experience discomfort or even pain due to the pressure exerted on the tooth during the procedure. Your dentist may give you a lidocaine injection to keep you comfortable in that case. If you do receive an injection of local anesthesia, you may experience some tenderness in your gums once the anesthetic wears off. This feeling should subside in a day or two, at which time you'll be able to eat anything you like with your new dental crown.
4. Your dentist will check the integrity of your dental crown at subsequent dental appointments.
Dental crowns are made from metal, porcelain, or a combination of both materials. This means that dental crowns are durable enough to last over a decade. Some dental crowns even last patients a lifetime. However, your dentist will still check on your dental crown during your biannual checkups. X-rays and visual examinations of your dental crown will ensure that no damage has occurred and that your dental crown has not started to leak. If either of these things happens, your dentist will talk to you about the necessity of replacing your dental crown.