A dental crown is a common solution used to restore the shape, size, and strength of a damaged tooth. The process may seem daunting, but knowing what to expect can alleviate any anxiety. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you understand what happens when you go to the dentist for a crown.

Initial Consultation

Your journey of getting a dental crown begins with a consultation. You will have an examination of your teeth and gums. Your dentist will probably use X-rays to assess the extent of the damage and the health of the underlying tooth structure. If a crown is deemed the best course of action, your dentist will discuss the procedure, materials used, costs, and any potential risks.

Tooth Preparation

The next step is preparing the tooth for the crown. Your dentist will numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Then, they will file down all sides of your tooth, making room for the crown. If part of your tooth is missing, a filling material will be used to build up the tooth to support the crown.

After reshaping the tooth, your dentist will take an impression of your tooth and the surrounding teeth. A dental lab will receive this mold and custom-make your crown. The process can take a few weeks.

Temporary Crown Placement

To protect your prepared tooth while your permanent crown is being made, your dentist will place a temporary crown. This crown is usually made of acrylic or stainless steel and is cemented in place with temporary adhesive.

Permanent Crown Placement

You'll return to the dentist for the final placement when the permanent crown is ready. Once the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is placed, your dentist will check the fit and color of the permanent one. If everything is satisfactory, they'll numb your tooth again and permanently cement the crown in place.

Aftercare Instructions

Before you leave the dental office, your dentist will give you specific instructions on how to care for your new crown. These will include maintaining good oral hygiene, avoiding hard or sticky foods for a few days, and monitoring for any signs of discomfort or sensitivity.

Follow-Up Visits

Your dentist will schedule follow-up visits to check the crown and ensure it fits properly. These visits are crucial as they allow your dentist to catch and address any potential issues early.

Getting a dental crown involves several steps and requires at least two visits to the dentist. While the process may seem complex, it's a routine procedure that dentists perform frequently. 

Contact a dental crown lab for more information.