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How is a dental crown procedure performed?

A dental crown procedure is done over the course of two or more dental visits and may involves the following steps before the crown is placed: a root canal, building a foundation, and filing the tooth. A root canal may be a necessary step if the tooth that is getting the crown has a lot of decay. The root canal can lower your risk of infection that reaches the innermost part of the tooth (the pulp). A foundation is the part that supports the crown, or cap, so that it can be placed on the damaged or decayed tooth. The last “pre-procedure” step involves filing the tooth, to prepare it for getting the crown.

Once any “pre-procedure” steps are done, your dentist will make an impression of the tooth getting the crown and will send this impression to a special laboratory so that a permanent crown can be made. At this point, your dentist will place a temporary crown over your tooth. The temporary crown is usually not as strong as a permanent crown and is not meant to last long -- just until your permanent crown is ready.  When your permanent crown is ready, your dentist will place it over the tooth and make sure it doesn't need any final adjustments. Once it is fitting well, he or she will cement the permanent crown into place. If you take good care of your crown by brushing your teeth twice a day and keeping up with your dentist visits, your crown should last for many years to come.
A crown restoration covers most or all of a decayed or weakened tooth. The first step is to remove any decay or old filling material that is no longer in good condition. The next step is to shape the tooth so that there is at least 1mm of space all the way around for the crown to fit. (The exact space required depends on the type of material and the location in the mouth - chewing surfaces will likely require more than 1mm of space for strength.) Then an impression of the tooth will be made, a temporary crown fabricated and placed with temporary cement. The impression is sent to the dental laboratory where the crown is made over the next two weeks, and then the patient returns to have it adjusted and cemented.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.