Prior to Procedure
It typically takes two visits to have a crown placed. Before these appointments, you and your dentist will decide which type of crown is best for you. Different materials are used to create permanent crowns, such as:
- Metal, such as gold
You will also have dental exams. The dentist will evaluate the health of your tooth's roots.
It is also important that you talk to your dentist if you take any medicines, herbs, or supplements. You may need to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Blood-thinning drugs
- Anti-platelet drugs
In addition, tell your dentist if you have any heart conditions or joint replacements. You may need to take antibiotics to prevent infection.
Description of the Procedure
The First Visit
The dentist will numb the area surrounding the tooth, usually by injecting a local anesthetic into the gum. Next, the dentist will prepare the tooth for the crown. The surfaces will need to be filed down. If you are missing part of the tooth, the dentist may need to add material to the tooth so that the crown can be placed. This filling material is called a crown buildup.
The dentist will make impressions of your tooth and the surrounding teeth. This is to make sure that the new crown will not impact your bite. The impressions will be sent to a dental lab where the crown will be made. If you are planning to have a porcelain crown, the dentist will help you select a shade that looks like your natural tooth color. Finally, the dentist will protect your tooth by placing a temporary crown on it. The permanent crown should be ready in 2-3 weeks.
A newer technique involves digital technology where a permanent crown can be made in the office in an hour or two.
The Second Visit
During the second visit, the dentist will numb the area again. The temporary crown will be removed. Cement will be used to secure the new crown in place.