What to Know When Getting Ready for a Dental Crown

You might be surprised how many of those perfect celebrity smiles you've admired are the result of dental crowns. A crown (or a cap) can take a damaged or discolored tooth and make it look like you've always had a gorgeous smile. For you need to know to get ready for your dental crown, read on.

Getting ready for a crown is all about fit. If the crown doesn't fit tightly, decay can enter and wreak all kinds of havoc. Badly fitting crowns look unattractive too. Depending on the location of the tooth, your dentist may use some dental instruments to shape your natural tooth before the impression of the new crown is made. That usually means your teeth are numbed and you are made comfortable before that occurs. For example, if your natural tooth contains some ragged or sharp edges, they may be "sanded" down to allow for a better fit for your new crown. Badly fitted crowns often have to removed and re-done so this step is vital to the longevity of your new crown.

A second preparation appointment may be needed for the crown impression to be made. Some dentists use the traditional wax impression method but some have upgraded to another way to measure teeth. For the wax method, you will be asked to bit down on a tray of impression material for a few minutes. Though not painful, it can be a bit uncomfortable for those with an easy gag reflex. The second way involved the dentist making a quick trip inside your mouth with a tiny camera that captures images of your natural tooth and plots exact measurements. Both methods do the job but the camera method is far more precise. Also, if you have swelling in your gums from other dental procedures, the dentist may need to retract your gums using some gentle motions with a special dental string to pull back your gums. This ensures no gaps between your gums and your new crown.

It can take some time for your crown to be made once the impression is sent to the dental lab. While you wait, your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown. Since your natural tooth has been shaped, it may now be more vulnerable to breakage and it also may look unattractive if it's near the front of your mouth. Temporary crowns are useful for a few weeks only and will be shaped and colored to fit right in with your other teeth.

As you can see, crown preparation is simple but important to ensure a proper fit. Speak to services like Carolina Forest Family Dentistry to learn more.