Antsy Anticipation: What to Expect When Getting a Dental Crown

If you’ve had a root canal or have a severely damaged tooth, your dentist probably informed you that you need a dental crown. This tooth-shaped cap is often made of durable porcelain or composite resin and is customized to match your natural teeth. Then, it’s affixed over your injured pearly white to keep it from sustaining further damage.

Many patients feel nervous when they learn that they’re going to be fitted with one of these restorations, but there’s nothing to be afraid of. Knowing what to expect can set your mind at ease. Keep reading to learn more about the process of getting a dental crown so you don’t have to worry!

Step #1: Examination

Before your dentist can begin work on your repair, they need to first examine your mouth to assess your current condition. They’ll also take X-rays and other images to formulate a comprehensive view of your teeth and jawbone.

Step #2: Numbing

It’s common for your dentist to apply a local anesthetic when preparing your pearly whites for a dental crown. They’ll inject a temporary numbing agent into your gums so that you remain comfortable throughout your procedure.

If you’re overly anxious, they may have other sedation options available, too. Ask your dentist if they can provide oral conscious sedation in pill form. You may need to discuss this in advance, however, because you’ll likely be asked to take the pill before you arrive for your appointment.  

Step #3: Preparation

For the crown to fit properly, your dentist first needs to shave down the unhealthy portions of your tooth. They do this with a specialized tool that can file layers off the top and sides so that you’re left with a smaller, smoothed-out stump. This will serve as an abutment, or support, for your restoration.

Step #4: Crown Placement

Depending on your circumstances, your dentist will provide either standard dental crowns or same-day crowns.  If they’re ordering a traditional one from a lab, it can take a couple of weeks before it arrives. Then, your dentist will schedule a visit to attach it. To do this, they’ll apply a layer of dental cement to the inside of your restoration and then carefully arrange it over your tooth. Once it’s placed, they’ll wipe away excess cement and check that your bite is aligning properly before sending you on your way.

If you’re getting same-day dental crowns, the process looks slightly different. These can be created during the same visit as your initial examination using CAD (computer-assisted design) and CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) technology. They’ll use a milling device on-site to create your re and then install it.  

As you can see, there’s no reason to feel anxious about getting a dental crown. If you’re still feeling nervous, let your dentist know and they’ll do what they can to put you at ease. Soon, you’ll have a beautifully restored smile and your worry will be far behind you!

About the Author

Dr. Breanne Anderson takes pride in enhancing patient’s lives by improving their oral health. She completed her undergraduate degree at Tufts University and then achieved her dental doctorate at the University of Connecticut. She then pursued additional advanced training. She offers a variety of dental services and as a board-certified prosthodontist, she’s an expert at replacing and rebuilding teeth. If you’d like a consultation, you’re welcome to request an appointment on the website or by calling the office at (239) 688-4404.