Dental crowns or tooth-colored caps placed over your teeth. They can be made of metal, porcelain or composite resin. Crowns are used to restore teeth that are broken or decayed. They can also improve the appearance of misshapen or discolored teeth. If you are considering crowns to make your teeth look better, here’s what you can expect before, during and after the procedure.
The first step is the consultation. Your dentist evaluates the condition of your teeth to see if crowns are really the best solution. If your teeth are badly decayed, root canal treatment may be necessary. Before getting crowns, it is important to talk to your dentist about your desired results.
Placing crowns usually requires two visits to your dentist. On the first visit, your dentist files down the teeth to be restored. The amount of enamel to be removed depends on the type of crown you are getting. However, if a large part of your teeth is missing or decayed, your dentist uses dental filling as a foundation for the crowns.
The dentist then takes impressions of your teeth and sends the impressions to the laboratory where your crowns are custom-made. Manufacturing the crowns usually takes weeks, so your dentist may give you temporary crowns to wear while waiting for the permanent ones. Once your permanent crowns are ready, you make a final trip to the dentist. Your dentist checks if the crowns fit well and if they are the desired shape and color. Finally, the crowns are cemented in place.
Aside from some sensitivity, patients typically experience no discomfort after the crowns are placed. But if you feel pain, particularly when you bite, tell your dentist about it. Pain may be due to poor fit. Also, if your crowns are porcelain-fused-to-metal, you may notice a dark line on the gum line. This is just the metal part of the crown showing, which is normal.