Regardless of how well you take care of your teeth, it's easy to end up with a chipped tooth or, even worse, a cracked or broken one. That's because chips can arise from a number of mundane activities like opening a package with your food, eating hard crunchy foods, or accidents that lead to you…
How Long Does It Take to Get a Dental Crown?
There are many reasons or situations in which a dentist may recommend patients to get a dental crown. These include:
- Root canal treatments
- Discoloration of teeth
- Congenital disabilities associated with the enamel or dentin
- Tooth wear
- Loss of structure following a deep filling
- Discrepancies of shape and size
- Natural gaps between teeth
- Cosmetic requirements
Whatever the reason, the purpose of fabricating and cementing a dental crown on a natural tooth is to restore its functionality and the way it appears in the oral cavity.
Creating a dental crown
Three primary materials are used for fabricating crowns: metal, porcelain and porcelain fused to metal (PFM). The choice depends upon the location of the tooth in the mouth, the intraoral forces it will be subjected to, aesthetic concerns and of course, the patient's budget. Metal is the strongest, but because it is silver or gold, it cannot be used for the restoration of front teeth.
Porcelain crowns can be made to look exactly like natural teeth but cannot be used to restore posterior teeth because they can fracture under the forces of mastication. Porcelain fused to metal is, by far, the most commonly used material of choice for crowns because it offers the strength of metal and the aesthetic properties of porcelain all in one.
The dental crown procedure
The dental crown procedure is relatively lengthier than, say, a standard filling. This is because it has to be completed in not one, but two, visits to the clinic.
The first visit
During the first visit, the dentist evaluates the affected tooth. Next, the tooth is trimmed down slightly with the help of a hand-held dental drill, so the crown can be seated and cemented on top. Anesthesia may be administered at this point to prevent any discomfort, sensitivity or pain. Once the ideal height and size have been achieved, an impression is taken, either digitally or with the help of a soft material that hardens to record the fine details of the tooth. The dentist finally selects a shade that matches the color of the natural teeth in the oral cavity.
Toward the end of the appointment, a temporary crown is used to cover the prepared tooth. The shade number and the impression are then sent to a dental laboratory, where technicians use the records to fabricate a crown. The first visit can take 40 to 60 minutes. Dental laboratories generally require two weeks to send the crown back to the clinic.
The second visit
The second appointment is thus scheduled for two weeks after the first. When the patient returns, the dentist proceeds to remove the temporary crown and clean the tooth. The new crown is then fitted atop the tooth to check for any size, shape or margin issues. The patient may be asked to bite normally with the crown in their mouth to determine whether there are any problems with it.
Finally, the crown is cemented and set in place on the affected natural tooth with the help of a strong luting cement. It is then polished to give the porcelain a natural-looking shine.
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