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Need A Dental Crown? What's Involved In The Process?

If you've been told by your dentist that you need a permanent crown, possibly as part of a cosmetic process to improve the appearance of your smile, you may be wondering what's involved. This is what you can expect in each of the four stages.

Step One – Preparation

First, the dentist will need to prepare the area that is going to accept the new crown. This will generally involve shaping the teeth so that they can accept the crown. Once the area has been anaesthetised, the teeth that are going to be covered need to be ground down by using a special tool. These teeth will act as an anchor onto which the crown will be placed. Therefore, they are trimmed quite precisely by the dentist, so that they are slightly tapered. In certain cases it may be necessary to add some filler material, to ensure that the shape is perfectly correct.

Step Two – Impressions

The next step is to take an impression of the prepared teeth, so that the crown can be made. A small amount of yarn known as a "retraction cord" is tucked around the bottom of the teeth in order to spread the gums back slightly. This will enable a more accurate impression to be made. Then, a specially designed tray containing a type of putty is pressed onto the area and surrounding teeth and left to sit for a few minutes. The material inside the tray will gradually set and once it is removed, it will contain an accurate impression of the entire area. This impression will be sent to a dental laboratory, which will create a plaster cast used to make the crown itself. This will take normally about two weeks.

Step Three – Temporary Crown

In the meantime, the dentist will place a temporary crown made from plastic to protect the area while you are waiting. It's held in place using temporary cement that can easily be removed by the dentist when you visit next.

Step Four – Adjustments And Fitting

Your next visit will involve minor alterations to make sure that the crown fits perfectly. First, the temporary crown is removed and then the dentist will take time to perfectly place a new crown. During this process you may be asked to bite down gently and the dentist may remove or replace the crown a few times until they are totally satisfied. You will then be given the opportunity to have a look at your crown in a mirror, to make sure you are also perfectly happy with its look and feel.

Finally, permanent cement will be used to ensure that the crown fits securely and comfortably in place, so that it serves you well for a long time. For more information, contact a specialist like Collins Dental Image.