When it comes to dental crown appointments, understanding what to expect can help you prepare for the procedure. Whether you opt for a multi-day or one-day procedure, knowing the process and potential complications can alleviate any concerns. In this article, we will discuss the general preparations, procedure differences, pain management, appointment duration, and potential complications associated with tooth crown placement.
Before the installation of a dental crown, certain preparations are common regardless of the procedure duration. Here’s an overview of what to expect:
Examination of Your Mouth
Your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth, evaluating the tooth requiring a crown and its surrounding area. X-rays may be taken to obtain a better view of the tooth’s roots and the adjacent bone.
To ensure a painless experience, a local anesthetic will be applied during crown preparation. In some cases, conscious sedation might be offered to alleviate anxiety. Nitrous oxide or intravenous sedation are commonly used methods for conscious sedation. However, individuals with severe anxiety may require general anesthesia.
Your dentist will likely need to file, shave down, or remove a portion of the outer layer of the tooth. This step is crucial to ensure proper crown fitting and alignment. The tooth may also require strengthening if it is weakened or broken down.
For a multi-day procedure, the following steps are typically involved:
Your dentist will take impressions of your tooth and its surrounding area. These impressions will be sent to a dental laboratory for the fabrication of a custom crown.
Temporary Crown Placement
A temporary crown will be placed over your prepared tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is ready. Remember to handle the temporary crown with care as it is not designed for long-term use.
Return to the Dentist Office
Approximately two weeks later, you will return to your dentist’s office for the next phase of the procedure.
Final Crown Placement
Using an appropriate dental cement, your dentist will carefully fit the permanent crown onto your tooth, ensuring proper alignment. Excess cement will be removed.
If you prefer a same-day crown, here’s what you can expect:
Digital scans of your mouth, focusing on the tooth requiring a crown, will be taken. These scans are used to create a 3D model of your mouth.
Based on the digital model, your dentist will use computer-assisted design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) techniques to fabricate the crown. A milling device will sculpt the crown from a ceramic block, refining it to the correct shape.
Once the crown is ready, your dentist will select an appropriate dental cement and securely place the crown onto your prepared tooth. Anesthesia can be provided upon request, and any post-procedure discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Does it Hurt?
During the tooth preparation stage, your dentist will administer local anesthesia to ensure your comfort. However, you may experience mild discomfort or pain after the crown installation, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. If the pain persists for more than a few weeks, it is advisable to contact your dentist.
For a one-day procedure, the process typically takes 2 to 4 hours. It is recommended to allow extra time to ensure a stress-free experience. In the case of a multi-day procedure, you will need to schedule two separate appointments, usually 1 to 2 weeks apart. Each appointment may take approximately 1 to 2 hours.
As with any dental procedure, complications may arise, including:
During the cavity cleaning and tooth filing process, your tooth may experience some weakening. This might require additional repair work or reinforcement, depending on the extent of the damage.
Root or Nerve Damage
There is a slight risk of damaging the tooth’s nerve during the procedure, which may necessitate a root canal treatment.
If the crown is not properly created and installed, it can lead to bite misalignment, causing pain in the temporomandibular joint. In such cases, the crown may need to be adjusted or replaced.
Before your dental crown appointment, it is essential to discuss the procedure with your dentist and understand the specific details. By knowing what to expect, you can adequately prepare for the appointment and ensure proper care and maintenance of your crown afterward. Regular communication with your dentist is crucial for a successful dental crown experience.