Dental crown placement is a common procedure in restorative dentistry and offers many benefits. Your dentist might recommend a dental crown to protect a severely decayed tooth from further damage, reinforce a tooth following a root canal, or replace a missing tooth as part of a dental implant.
If your dentist suggests dental crowns, ask about the different materials available and learn what steps are taken for dental crowns before and after placement.
Types of Dental Crowns
There are many dental crown materials available for your custom crowns, including porcelain-fused-to-metal, composite resin, metal, and gold, or stainless steel. However, porcelain and ceramic dental crowns offer the most natural look and are also metal-free, making them hypoallergenic.
Porcelain crowns mimic the natural appearance and strength of your teeth. Your dentist can select a shade that matches your natural teeth, so the dental crown blends in beautifully with your smile. Porcelain crowns are extremely durable and can last around 10-15 years with proper at-home care and regular dental visits.
CEREC dental crowns
CEREC crowns are made from a ceramic block and are as strong as your natural teeth, allowing you to bite and chew comfortably. These crowns are faster to make and apply than traditional dental crowns. CEREC crowns are fabricated onsite and fitted in a single session. They also have a similar lifespan, lasting 10-15 years.
Dental Crowns Before and After: Preparation and Placement
Before your dentist can place your dental crowns, there are a few steps they must take to prepare your tooth.
Preparing the tooth
At the beginning of your appointment, your dentist numbs the area around the tooth using a local anaesthetic. If you’re receiving the crown because of decay and structural problems with the tooth, your dentist performs a restorative treatment, such as root canal first to remove any existing decay.
Then, the tooth to receive the crown is filed down along the chewing surface and sides to accommodate the crown. After the tooth is reshaped, your dentist checks to see if the dental crown fits correctly.
When your tooth is ready for the dental crown, your dentist takes impressions of the prepared tooth. These impressions are sent to a lab where the custom dental crown is fabricated for a perfect fit. While you wait for your custom crown to be made, which typically takes two weeks, your dentist fits you with a temporary crown to protect your existing tooth structure.
However, at No Gaps Dental, several of our locations offer CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic) dental crowns, using cutting-edge technology to provide patients with same-day dental crown placement.
Using CEREC CAD/CAM design and manufacturing technology, we can take images of your teeth with an intraoral camera which are used to create a 3D digital model of your mouth. This allows your dentist to design your crown on the computer and wirelessly send the data to the onsite milling machine.
The dentist selects a block of ceramic that matches your natural tooth colour and places it in the milling machine. The CEREC milling machine sculpts your custom crown in under 15 minutes.
Dental crown placement
Traditionally, you leave the dental practice with a temporary crown and return for your custom crown placement two weeks later. At this appointment, your dentist numbs the area around the tooth and removes the temporary crown.
Your dentist cleans the tooth and dries it before checking that the custom crown fits properly. If the bite alignment is correct, they cement the permanent crown in place. When the crown is bonded correctly to the tooth, it shouldn’t move.
With CEREC dental crowns, the dentist places the finished crown on your teeth immediately after milling. Since the advanced dental technology is so accurate, there should be minimal bite adjustment.
Dental Crowns Before and After: After Care and Longevity
Caring for your dental crowns is crucial to prolong their lifespan and prevent tooth decay underneath. Although your ceramic dental crown won’t decay or develop cavities, it can become discoloured and is vulnerable to chips and cracks.
Following a strict oral hygiene routine and avoiding certain foods and activities protects your dental crown and the surrounding teeth.
Brush and floss twice daily
Brush your dental crowns and natural teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste morning and evening to maintain a healthy smile.
You can also use a colour-free non-alcoholic mouth rinse once per day.
However, you may need to modify your flossing technique to avoid loosening the dental crown.
Use soft, waxed floss and avoid pulling the floss from between your teeth too hard.
Alternatively, you can use an interdental brush or a Waterpik.
Wear a mouthguard
If you play contact sports like NRL, AFL, or basketball, you need to wear a mouthguard to avoid damaging your dental crown. To prevent dental crown breakage, a custom mouthguard absorbs the shock of impacts or facial trauma.
If you clench your jaw or grind your teeth at night (bruxism), you should wear a nightguard as a protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth. These guards prevent stress fractures or chips on your dental crown.
Kick bad habits
Biting your nails, chewing on pens, or using your teeth as tools puts unnecessary strain on your dental crowns. Keep your nails trimmed, coat your pens in something that tastes bad, or find other ways to break these harmful dental habits.
Dental Crowns Before and After: Transform Your Teeth
Whether you have a tooth that’s discoloured or requires additional support due to decay, talk to your dentist about whether dental crowns are right for you. We offer cutting-edge CEREC crowns at No Gaps Dental for a perfect, custom fit.
Our dentists perform restorative and cosmetic dental procedures to give you a smile you are proud to share. Contact us today on (02) 8806 0227 to book an appointment at one of our 15 locations across New South Wales.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.
How Long Can You Expect a Dental Crown to Last?
Procedure For Dental Crowns
What is CEREC Dentistry?