When it comes to dental procedures, many patients wonder how long it will take before the work is complete. One common dental procedure that raises this question is getting a dental crown. In this article, we will explore how long it takes to put a crown on and what factors can influence the time frame.
What is a dental crown?
Before we dive into the timing, let’s define what a dental crown is. A dental crown is a cap that fits over the tooth to protect it and restore its function. It is used when a tooth is weakened or has undergone significant damage, such as from decay or a fractured tooth. Crowns can be made of various materials, including porcelain, gold, and ceramic.
The process of getting a dental crown
The process of getting a dental crown typically involves two visits to the dentist’s office. During the first visit, the dentist will prepare the tooth for the crown. This involves removing any decay or damage from the tooth and shaping it to fit the crown. Once the tooth is prepared, the dentist will take an impression of the tooth and send it to a dental lab to create the crown. In some cases, the dentist may be able to create the crown in-office using CAD/CAM technology.
While you wait for the permanent crown to be made, the dentist will place a temporary crown to protect the prepared tooth. This temporary crown is typically made of acrylic and is not as durable as the permanent crown. It is important to take care of the temporary crown and avoid eating sticky or hard foods that can dislodge it.
During the second visit, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and replace it with the permanent crown. They will check the fit and ensure that the crown matches the surrounding teeth in color and shape. Once the fit and appearance are satisfactory, the dentist will cement the crown onto the prepared tooth.
How long does it take to put a crown on?
The amount of time it takes to put a crown on can vary depending on several factors. Generally, the entire process of getting a crown takes around two to three weeks, with two visits to the dentist. However, there are some cases where the process can be completed in a single visit.
As mentioned earlier, some dentists use CAD/CAM technology to create crowns in-office, eliminating the need for a second visit. These same-day crowns are usually made of ceramic and can be created in as little as a few hours. However, not all dentists offer this technology, so it is important to ask your dentist if they have this option available.
Factors that can influence the time frame
While the standard timeline for getting a crown is two to three weeks, several factors can influence the time frame. Some of these factors include:
- The location and complexity of the damaged tooth
- The materials used to create the crown
- The type of crown (e.g., traditional crown or same-day crown)
- The availability of the dental lab
- The need for any additional procedures, such as a root canal
Caring for your new crown
Once your new crown is in place, it is important to take care of it to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. Some tips for caring for your new crown include:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Flossing daily to remove food particles and plaque from between teeth
- Avoiding hard or sticky foods that can damage the crown
- Scheduling regular dental checkups to ensure the crown remains in good condition
Common questions about getting a dental crown
1. Is getting a dental crown painful?
The process of getting a dental crown should not be painful. The dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding area, so you should not feel any pain during the procedure. However, some patients may experience some discomfort or sensitivity in the days following the procedure.
2. How long do dental crowns last?
Dental crowns can last anywhere from five to fifteen years, depending on factors such as proper oral care and the materials used to create the crown. Regular dental checkups can help ensure that the crown remains in good condition and catch any potential issues early.
3. Can you eat normally with a dental crown?
Once your new crown is cemented into place, you should be able to eat and drink normally. However, it is important to avoid hard or sticky foods that can damage the crown. You should also continue to brush and floss regularly to care for your new crown and surrounding teeth.
Getting a dental crown may seem like a daunting process, but it is a relatively straightforward procedure that can be completed in a few weeks. By understanding the process and caring for your new crown properly, you can enjoy a restored smile for years to come.
- “Dental Crowns: What to Expect.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 25 Apr. 2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/dental-crowns/about/pac-20393773.
- “Dental Crowns.” American Dental Association, 11 Mar. 2020, https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/c/crowns.
- “Why You Need a Dental Crown: Types, Procedure, Cost, and Recovery.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 24 Jan. 2020, https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-crown.