A porcelain crown basically acts as a helmet to protect a tooth, which has had its integrity compromised either due to decay or due the tooth cracking or breaking. In the case of decay, more than likely the tooth became infected and a root canal procedure was performed. Cracked or broken teeth can occur for several reasons including accidents and trauma. In any case, the crown is necessary to protect what is remaining of the tooth.
The process for fitting porcelain crowns begins with the dentist numbing the area around the tooth where the crown is needed. Once the patient is comfortable, the dentist will reduce the height and circumference of the tooth, using various dental instruments. After the tooth is reduced in size, the dentist will take an impression of the patient’s mouth using a substance similar to putty. This impression is used to create a “mock up” of the patient’s mouth by the dental lab. When the dentist is satisfied with the impression, they will then install a temporary crown over the tooth, using an adhesive, which will hold the temporary crown in place, until the permanent crown is fabricated by a dental lab.
In most cases, the dental lab will require 2-3 weeks for the dental technician to fabricate the permanent crown, once they receive the impression. Great care is taken by the dental lab to fabricate a crown that will fit properly, without interfering with the patient’s “bite”. After the dentist receives the permanent crown, the dentist will schedule an appointment with the patient to remove the temporary crown and then “dry fit” the crown, to verify that the fit of the permanent crown is perfect. Once the dentist is satisfied, the dentist will use a permanent adhesive to “glue” it in place. Once installed the crown will last for years and act like a helmet protecting the tooth!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates
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