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So you’ve just finished up a dentist appointment and learned that you have a damaged tooth that needs a dental crown. You probably have lots of questions and are wondering what to expect when getting a dental crown. The good news is that getting a crown is a routine procedure that will help restore the strength and look of your damaged tooth.

What is a Dental Crown?

Before diving into what to expect from the dental crown procedure, it’s important to know some background information. A dental crown is a protective cap that adds strength and stability to a damaged tooth. Crowns restore the proper function of a damaged tooth and also maintain the cosmetic look of your smile. You may need a crown because of a cracked tooth, tooth damage due to trauma, advanced tooth decay, or tooth deterioration under an existing filling. A crown is also part of the standard procedure to finish a tooth that had a root canal.

There are multiple types of crown materials, including metal and various types of ceramic and porcelain. Since each material varies in look and durability, your dentist will select the best material for your specific crown. They will consider factors such as tooth location, durability, gum health and position, the amount of tooth remaining, and how much of the tooth will show when smiling.

What to Expect from the Dental Crown Procedure

Now that you have some background about what crowns are, we can dive into what to expect from the dental crown procedure. First, your dentist will need to do some work before fitting your crown. After thoroughly numbing the area, they will remove just enough tooth structure to make room for the crown material. Occasionally a foundation under the crown will need to be placed if there isn’t enough healthy tooth structure to fully support the crown.  This is called a buildup.  After the dentist has prepared the tooth, they will take either a putty-like traditional impression or digital impression like we use with the CEREC.

The Traditional Crown Process

During your crown appointment your dentist will remove part of your tooth to make room for the crown. They will take an impression of your tooth and send it off-site to a dental lab, where a dental technician will use it to make your crown. Your dentist will then fix a temporary crown onto your tooth while you wait for your permanent crown to be made, which usually takes a couple of weeks. Once your permanent crown arrives, your dentist will fit it onto your tooth, ensure a proper fit, and cement it into place.

The CEREC Process

Pinnacle Dental uses the CEREC process almost exclusively. Your dentist will scan your tooth with a digital scanner at your appointment, virtually design the crown on the computer, and then create your crown in the office while you wait. Amazingly, this only takes 90 minutes to 2 hours, about the same time as a traditional crown appointment. Once your crown is made, your dentist will place it on your tooth, make sure the fit is secure, and cement it into place. The advantage of this process is no temporary crown or having to wait for your crown for a couple of weeks.

Contact Pinnacle Dental to Schedule Your Dental Crown Appointment

Now that you know what to expect from the dental crown procedure, you can be confident moving forward with restoring the strength and look of your tooth! At Pinnacle Dental Associates, we will ensure your dental crown experience is smooth and comfortable. Call us at (541) 928-9299 to schedule an appointment, and check out our website for more information.