The Ultimate Guide on Tooth Preparation for Dental Crowns: What You Need to Know Before Getting Your Teeth Capped

Dr. Ash Sagar
Narre Warren Dental Care

Will you undergo a dental crown procedure? If so, then your dentist will probably discuss the process known as crown preparation. Dental crowns are caps that cover and protect an original tooth with extensive decay. As part of the dental crown procedure, your dentist will prepare the decayed tooth by filing it down. Filing the decayed tooth on all sides is an important step that helps ensure your dental crown fits properly and lasts many years. But what does it involve, and how long does it take? In this blog post, we’ll delve into why tooth preparation is necessary, what goes into the process, and what type of crown best suits you.

  • Tooth reduction is important to make space for the dental crown and remove the decay in the damaged tooth.
  • Filing and shaping a tooth is essential to make the dental crown snugly fit and prevent risks of infections.
  • Dental restoration preparation will vary depending on the material used in the dental crown and the dental location that will receive the crown.
  • The appearance, allergies, durability and costs must be considered when choosing the right dental crown material.

What is Meant By Tooth Preparation

Dental restoration preparation is essential when a weak tooth needs to be restored by a dental crown procedure. It involves reducing the tooth structure so that the actual dental crown size and shape can be accurately determined and fabricated. This process of tooth reduction is known as tooth preparation or crown preparation. Tooth reduction will also depend on the type of crown that will be used.

As part of the dental restoration preparation, any decay or existing damage on the tooth must first be removed before making further adjustments like contouring or smoothing the tooth structure to provide a better-fitting effect for the newly placed crown.

Although tooth reduction may seem intimidating, it is necessary to ensure that the proper fit is achieved for both aesthetic appearance and the long-term success of the dental restoration procedure.

Types of Dental Crowns

A tooth crown is a dental restoration that covers and protects misshapen teeth. This dental treatment is one of the popular ways to restore the natural tooth structure. There are different types of crowns one may choose from depending on their specific dental condition:

  • Porcelain dental crowns: When it comes to convincingly mimicking the natural appearance of teeth, porcelain crowns are unrivalled. They’re a common option for people who care about cosmetic modification of their teeth. These types of crowns are especially common for front teeth that have been damaged.
  • Stainless steel crowns: These are commonly used temporarily to cover a damaged tooth, while the traditional crown is prepared in the dental laboratory. Stainless steel crowns are not typically used to restore prepared teeth permanently.
  • Gold alloy crowns: These conventional crowns are made of metals and used to protect the entire tooth. Gold crowns are still used today, although they have become less popular because most patients prefer all-ceramic crowns.
  • Titanium crowns: Titanium crowns are renowned for their strength and longevity due to their resistance to decay. They can withstand the pressure of biting and chewing. And because of their durability, they are also expensive.
  • Resin crowns were the most common crown used before the advent of more durable materials like porcelain and titanium.
  • Temporary crowns: These are used as a temporary restoration while you wait for your permanent crown. They can stay in your mouth for up to two weeks and are typically made from metals based on acrylic. Temporary crowns are also used in children to cover their prepared primary tooth. This will come off together with the primary tooth when it falls out.
  • Partial crowns: They are also sometimes called onlays. They do not cover the entire tooth. Instead, they only cover some cusps of the tooth.
  • Same-day CEREC crowns: Some dental laboratories provide same-day crowns by using new technology to get digital impressions of your teeth. They can also manufacture dental crowns on the same day, so you won’t have to book separate appointments to install your permanent crown.

Material Selection For Dental Crowns

Choosing the right material for a dental crown ensures successful tooth restoration. Remember that the damaged tooth will be prepared differently based on the type of material used in the dental crown. Below are things you must consider in choosing the right material for your dental crown:

  • Appearance: Full-ceramic crowns and porcelain fused to metal crowns look like your real teeth, blending in seamlessly. Crowns made of porcelain are the closest to your natural tooth colour because they are translucent. For optimal aesthetics, these should be placed on your visible teeth.
  • Durability: A dental crown typically lasts between 10 and 15 years. However, not all materials are created equal in terms of durability. When it comes to the durability of a crown, base metal alloy crowns are far superior to full-ceramic crowns, particularly if the posterior teeth are the ones to be crowned. Consider getting a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown if you value both durability and a natural appearance in your restored tooth.
  • Cost: If you need a dental crown, consider your budget before deciding on the material. Even with dental coverage, the cost may be prohibitive. It’s common for dental insurance to pay for only a portion of a crown’s total price. The yearly cap should also be taken into account.
  • Allergies: To some, metals can trigger an allergic reaction. Talk to your dentist if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to metal, even if it was just from wearing jewellery.

Reasons for Tooth Preparation

Tooth preparation is a vital part of the dental crown treatment plan. It involves tooth reduction until the finished crown fits and looks good in the patient’s mouth. Below are some reasons why tooth preparation is necessary:

  • To ensure a balanced appearance and functional optimisation
  • To create space for a dental crown
  • To provide physical strength and resistance under normal load conditions
  • To help ensure that no bacteria is trapped under or between the tooth crown
  • To remove tooth decay

How is Your Tooth Prepared For Dental Crowns

Before installing a dental crown, your dentist will check if you are a suitable candidate for this dental procedure. If your dentist thinks you are a good fit, your dentist will now proceed to tooth preparation. Below is an overview of how your dentist will prepare your weak tooth:

  • Digital scans: Before placing a crown on your tooth, your dentist will likely check for any gum disease and take x-rays at the initial dental visit to examine the tooth’s roots and the bone around it. Root canal treatment may be necessary before a crown is placed. Root canal therapy is needed if the tooth has extensive decay or there is a concern for infection or injury to the tooth’s pulp.
  • Tooth reduction: Your dentist will numb the area around the tooth and in the mouth before beginning the procedure. The crown-receiving tooth is then reduced in size by having its chewing surface and sides filed down. How much is taken out varies with each crown design. For instance, all-metal crowns are thinner, and less tooth structure removal is needed than all-porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal ones. However, your dental professional will use a filling material to “build up” the tooth’s structure to support the crown if a significant portion of the tooth is decayed.

What Happens After the Tooth Is Prepared

Creating an Impression

A dental impression of the tooth that will eventually receive the crown is made by applying a paste or putty-like material over the prepared tooth. An accurate impression of the tooth and the teeth adjacent to it are taken for a dental crown. This procedure ensures that your bite will not change due to the crown.

Temporary Crown

A dental laboratory will receive the impression material and begins working from them. After two or three weeks, the lab returns the completed crowns to the dental clinic. At the initial appointment, your dentist will prepare a temporary crown to bond it with temporary cement over the prepared tooth and protect it until the permanent crown can be placed.

Colour Matching

A shade guide, typically a metal or plastic card with fake porcelain teeth of various shades arranged in a particular order, is the most frequently used tool for colour matching. Your dentist will then hold the guide up to your teeth and compare the natural shade to the examples until a similar shade is found.

Permanent Crown Placement

Seven to ten business days is the average time to complete a permanent crown. The dental professional can permanently attach it to your teeth using dental cement once ready. Below are the different steps involved in permanent crown placement:

  • The first step of the procedure is to numb the tooth and surrounding tissues with a local anaesthetic. The temporary crown can be taken off the tooth by the dentist. The dentist will then carefully clean the affected tooth and the adjacent teeth. After the tooth has dried completely, the dentist can begin fitting the permanent crown.

Checking the Fit

The dentist will floss the area between the crown and the adjacent teeth to ensure a snug fit. The dentist may need a drill to adjust the crown’s fit.

Bite Adjustment

Dentists will ask you to bite on a special registration paper. Checking your bite will help them see which parts of the teeth are hitting before the other parts. Your dentist may then use a drill to grind down those spots and fix your dental crown.

Post-Treatment Care

You can improve your teeth’ look by placing crowns on them. Cavity-filled teeth can also benefit from the crowns’ protective qualities. But crowns in your teeth need to be looked after properly. Below are some tips to take care of your dental crown:

  • When flossing your teeth, gently slide the dental floss rather than lifting it.
  • Eat soft foods because hard ones can damage the crown
  • Chewy foods can dislodge the crown, so they should be avoided.
  • Chew on the opposite side of your dental crown.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid scratching the surface of your teeth.

Risks and Complications

Unfortunately, complications can arise even when dental crowns are used to protect a patient’s natural teeth. You should know about these complications and how to spot them if you have a dental crown.

  • Tooth decay: Some teeth may still be susceptible to cavities. Plaque and tartar build-up on the area where the crown meets the natural tooth increases the tooth’s susceptibility to decay-causing bacteria. In addition, diseases of the gums, such as gingivitis and periodontitis, can be brought on by this bacterial overgrowth.
  • Sensitivity: During the dental crown procedure, the tooth’s dentin is exposed after the enamel has been shaved down. Some dentin may be visible at the gum line if the crown does not cover the tooth completely. As a result, the tooth may become hypersensitive to temperature changes.
  • Allergies: Crowns for teeth can be crafted from various materials, including metals, porcelain, and resin. Some people, especially those with a metal allergy, can be sensitive to these materials.
  • Breaking and chipping: Crowns made entirely of porcelain without any metal framework inside are more prone to breaking. Chewing on ice or other hard foods can make your dental crown chip or crack.
  • Receding gum: Pain and sensitivity can be caused by irritating the gum tissue around a dental crown. This irritation can lead to inflammation and, eventually, gum recession. Gum recession can be avoided by practising good oral hygiene.

Final Thoughts

Proper tooth preparation and dental crown placement are vital for optimal oral health. To prepare for a crown, the tooth must first be reduced in size so the dental crown will snugly fit when placed. Tooth preparation is necessary to create space for the dental crown material needed to restore the tooth’s aesthetic and function.

If you need quality dental care, look no further! Narre Warren Dental Centre offers dental crowns to protect your damaged teeth. Take the time to explore our website and understand the different procedures available and experience a reliable, efficient process from start to finish that keeps your tooth looking and feeling great! So don’t wait – take advantage of our dental services today!

Disclaimer – Use At Your Own Risk :- The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. Any action you take upon the information on these blogs are strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with the use of the information from these blogs.

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