The process of placing a dental crown usually takes two visits to the dentist scheduled about two to three weeks apart. Crowns are usually fabricated in a dental lab rather than in your dentist’s office. During the first appointment, the tooth will be prepared for the crown and an impression taken which is sent to the dental lab for use in fabricating your new crown. During the second visit, the crown will be placed on the tooth.
At your first appointment, after numbing your tooth your dentist will remove any tooth decay and shape the tooth to allow placement of the crown. Some of the natural tooth needs to be removed from the sides and top of the tooth to allow the crown to be placed. Also, the tooth is usually shaped so that the sides are slightly tapered which helps ensure that the crown will fit tightly and stay in place.
After it has been shaped, an impression of the tooth will be made. The dental lab will use this impression to ensure that your crown will fit properly. Your dentist will then glue a temporary crown in place to protect the tooth while your crown is being made.
Once the crown is back from the lab, you will return to your dentist’s office to have the crown placed. The temporary crown will be removed and the new crown will be glued into place. In most cases, no anesthetic is necessary to glue the crown in place.
Some dentist’s offices have the equipment necessary to fabricate a ceramic crown on site. If your dentist is one of these and you have chosen a ceramic crown, you may be able to complete the entire procedure in a single visit. These high tech machines can custom make a ceramic crown in as little as 15 to 30 minutes. You will go home the same day with your new crown in place.
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