Dental crowns are a restorative dental treatment option that can help improve the strength, function, and appearance of a damaged, decayed, discoloured, or crooked tooth. Today, our Calgary dentists explain what you can expect during a dental crown procedure.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown, also known as a cap, is a dental restoration that covers (or 'caps') a tooth to restore its shape, size, and colour.
Our dentists may recommend a stainless steel or zirconium crown for your child if they have a weak, severely damaged or cracked tooth that cannot be repaired by a filling. A crown is used to cover their natural tooth to help provide support and structure.
Crowns are quite strong due to the fact that they are often made of porcelain, a material that protects and strengthens the remaining tooth structure.
The Crown Procedure
To place a dental crown generally requires at least two appointments at our dental office. Once their dentist determines your child needs a crown, here's what you can expect at each appointment.
The First Appointment
In order to prepare for a crown, your dentist will first examine your child's mouth and then prepare the tooth.
To prepare the tooth, your dentist will file down and remove part of the outer layer of the tooth. Next, they will take an impression of the trimmed tooth and the surrounding teeth, and place a temporary crown over the tooth to protect it. The temporary crown is placed using temporary cement so that it can come off easily when the permanent crown is ready.
Your dental office will send the unique tooth impression to a dental laboratory to make your permanent crown, which may take several weeks.
Using the impression, the laboratory technician is able to examine all aspects of your child's bite and jaw movements and sculpt a crown just for them. Our dentist will also be sure to determine the shade of your child's teeth to help the technician make a crown that will match the colour of the rest of their teeth.
The Second Appointment
Once the crown is ready, your child will return to our dental office for the second appointment. During this visit, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and place the permanent crown on their tooth.
The permanent crown is first placed on the tooth and inspected for acceptable fit, bite and smooth margins. After any necessary adjustments have been made, the crown is cemented with permanent cement or dental glue.
Caring for a Dental Crown
With the proper care, dental crowns can last on average from 10 to 20 years (or until your child looses the baby tooth). They are still subject to damage, so it is important to take care in brushing and flossing around crowned teeth to prevent them from needing to be replaced too soon.