Your tooth might need a crown in a variety of situations. A broken tooth, a cracked tooth, a tooth with a large filling that has gone bad, a tooth that has had a root canal in the past—these are just some of the reasons that your tooth might need a dental crown.

What is a crown?

A dental crown is a fake tooth that goes right on top of your real tooth. Your dentist at AZ Dentist will take all of the bad spots, decay, and fractures out of your real tooth. Then, they’ll place the crown on top of your real tooth.

When the procedure is complete, you may not know that it is even a fake tooth!

How does a crown tooth repair work?

The crown repair procedure starts by your dentist giving you medicine to numb your tooth. Then the dentist and her assistant will mark down the shade of white that your existing tooth is. This way, when the crown is made, it will match all your other teeth.

If your crown will be on a front tooth, the dentist will likely offer a bleaching treatment to you, as well. A finished crown will not change color with bleaching; only natural teeth can be bleached. Because of this, if you want whiter teeth, the time to do it will be before you get a crown on your front tooth!

Next, an impression is made of the tooth that will be crowned. Putty material is placed in a tray, and inserted into your mouth for you to bite. A dent is made in the putty in the exact shape of your tooth. This is important so that a temporary crown can be made for you at the end of the visit.

Does getting a crown hurt?

Your dentist will remove all the bad spots, decay, and fractures from your tooth. They may need to “build up” your tooth at this point, especially if there is not much tooth structure remaining.

However, during this procedure, your affected tooth will be numb. When your tooth is numb, all you may feel is pressing. You will not feel any pain, or any cold sensations. And likely, you will not even feel pressing.

Cleaning and bonding the tooth

The tooth is first cleaned with a blue gel. It is placed on the tooth for 30 seconds. It is then rinsed off.

At AZ Dentist, we put a special medicated treatment called “desensitizer” on the tooth. This is a clear liquid that is air dried by the dentist. The desensitizer medication helps the nerve of the tooth hurt less later.

After, a bonding agent is painted on the tooth. Once it is exposed to a special UV light, this bonding material will be able to bond to the tooth at the microscopic level. This is so the “build up” material – the next application of material during the procedure – is also bonded to the tooth. This “build up” material is a white liquid or semi-solid plastic that is hardened by the special UV light.

Preparing your tooth for the dental crown

After this, the dentist will shape your tooth—around and on top—with exact measurements. This is done with a diamond-encrusted instrument. There needs to be enough space made for the material that the crown will be made from. For example, if the crown is made from gold, there needs to be .5 mm of space. If the crown is made from zirconium and porcelain, there needs to be 1.5 mm of space.

At AZ Dentist, we will never use a base metal crown or a porcelain-fused to a base metal crown. Further, we will discuss your crown options beforehand to make certain you are happy with the materials that are chosen for your dental crown.

Once the preparation of the tooth for the crown is complete, something called retraction cord may be placed around your tooth, under your gumline. This is a string that has a special medicine embedded in it. The medicine in the cord, and the cord itself, work to move the gums out of the way. This makes space in between the gums and the prepared tooth for the next step.

Taking a final impression

The third step is a final impression. Two kinds of impression material are used. One is very liquid-like and one has a putty consistency. Both are made from a plastic-type material.

The retraction cord is removed from around the tooth, allowing the liquid plastic impression material to flow in between the gums and the tooth. It is important for the liquid-like plastic to flow over the very edge of where the tooth has been prepared, 360 degrees around the tooth.

There cannot be a bubble in the material here, or any area of the tooth that does not have the liquid-like