In the first article of our four-part dental crown blog series, we explained what a crown is, why our Mesa, Arizona dentist may recommend one to you, alternative options to getting a crown, what the average cost of a crown is, and the financing options available to help make the procedure affordable to you. Today we’re going to focus more on what the procedure of getting a crown entails.
How Long Does The Dental Crown Process Take?
Once all your ducks are in a row, you can expect to have your dental crown completed in one or two visits.
Eastport Dental in Mesa is equipped with a milling machine which gives us the ability to make permanent same day crowns in our office. Doing so allows us to place your permanent crown on at the same initial visit, which usually totals about two to three hours.
We used to have to break the process up into two visits, with the first one taking about 90 minutes and consisting of us prepping your tooth, taking an impression of your mouth, and sending the mold off to a dental laboratory where a technician would make your crown. When the crown was completed, we would have you return for another visit to get the crown put on. The second appointment typically took about 30 minutes. That’s not even counting your back-and-forth travel time!
These days we mostly perform same-day crowns in Mesa, but depending on the situation, it’s sometimes better to stick with the traditional method. We’ll touch on that some more later on, but for now, we’re going to focus on the in-office same-day crown procedure.
To begin the preparatory work on your tooth, our Mesa dentist will administer some local anesthesia to the area of your mouth that your tooth is in. This will ensure that you’re comfortable and pain-free throughout the process. If at any time you feel any discomfort, just let us know and we can numb you some more.
Post and Buildup
Once you’re numb, we’ll begin to prep your tooth. If any decay is present, or there’s an old filling, we’ll remove it first. When you’re left with just healthy tooth, we may have to add to it if there isn’t enough structure there. We’ll do this by essentially putting a new filling in the tooth. The procedure is called a buildup and is an additional cost as far as the crown’s fee goes.
If the tooth has previously had a root canal, our Mesa dentist may choose to place a post down one of the tooth roots, to help stabilize the tooth even more. If so, that’ll be done after the decay and old filling is removed, but before the buildup is placed.
Once your tooth is healthy again and has enough structure present, we’ll reduce the size of the tooth to make room for the crown. To do so we’ll trim it down around each side, making it shorter. The goal is to have enough clearance for the crown to fit over your tooth, while properly aligning with the rest of your teeth.
Scan and Milling
When our dentist is satisfied with the prep of the tooth, we’ll use an intraoral scanner (which is a handheld wand that we wave around your mouth for a “virtual impression”) to create a digital 3-D model of your teeth. The image allows us to design your crown and our CEREC milling machine uses the information from the scan to plan and instantly fabricate your restoration in our office, all while you wait in the comfort of your chair.
Seating Your Crown
If your case allowed us to make your crown in-office, then we’ll immediately cement it on once the milling is complete. This procedure is called the seat crown portion of your treatment, and it’s the final step.
Traditional Crown Procedure With Temporary
In some instances, our Mesa dentist prefers to enlist a professional lab technician in making your crown. Unique anatomy or a shade that’s difficult to match could be a reason why making a same-day crown isn’t the best option for your smile.
It usually takes about three weeks to get a crown completed by a dental laboratory, so we’ll ask you to return for another appointment once your restoration is ready. In the meantime, you’ll wear a temporary crown over your tooth.
Learn More About Temporary Crowns
To learn everything there is to know about temporary crowns, look for part three of our four-part dental crown blog series, or give Eastport Dental in Mesa, Arizona a call today.