If you have finally decided that you need dental crowns to treat your current teeth problems, then the dentist will need to prepare your tooth for the crowns. The first step in getting dental crowns is to examine the tooth. This calls for x-rays of the tooth as well as the surrounding teeth. If the tooth is badly decayed and the root is infected, there may be need for a root canal prior to having the crown put in.
The tooth will need to be filed first. It is filed on both sides and at the top in order to create space to fit the crown. The type of crown being put in will determine how much of the tooth is filed away. Metal crowns tend to be thinner and require less filing than porcelain crowns, or crowns that are a fusion of metal and porcelain. In some cases, the tooth is badly decayed and damaged. This calls for a structure to be built up using filling material on which a crown can be placed.
Impressions of the tooth are then made and sent to the dental lab where the crown is manufactured. A temporary crown may be given to you as you wait for the permanent one so that the tooth can be protected during the waiting period.
During the second visit, you will receive your permanent crown. The temporary one will be taken out and the fit and color of the tooth is assess. Once the dentist ascertains that all is well, it will be numbed and the permanent crown will be cemented into place.
Dental crowns in a day
It is possible to have the dental crowns made and fitted on the same day. As long as the dentist you are seeing has the necessary equipment, the dental crowns will be made on the same day. The process is the same:
- The decay is removed and the tooth is shaped by filing down the top and the sides to ensure that the crown will fit perfectly.
- The crown is made and the process begins by having a wand (scanning device) take pictures of the said tooth. A model of the tooth is made in 3D from these pictures. It is then sent to an office that will carve the crown from a ceramic block. Using CAD/CAM technology (Computer aided design/computer aided manufacturing), the crown is ready in 15 minutes.
- The dentist puts the crown in.
Material used to make crowns
There are several materials that can be used to make crowns. Below are some.
- Metal – Dentists usually use chromium, palladium, gold and nickel to make crowns.
- Porcelain and metal fusion – The metal is placed next to the tooth with the porcelain on the top to look like the teeth.
- All resin – These are great but they tend to wear down with time.
- All porcelain or all ceramic – These are the most popular because their color matches that of natural teeth.
- Pressed ceramic – These ones are usually capped with porcelain and will match the tooth perfectly. They last longer than crowns made of all porcelain.
Your Tijuana dentist will be able to advise you on which material is best for your needs.