About the Procedure

What are Dental Crowns?



Dental crowns are prosthetic devices that are used to cover or cap damaged or decayed teeth. They are used to strengthen and restore the shape, size, and appearance of a tooth. Dental crowns are typically made of materials like ceramic, porcelain, metal alloys, or a combination of these materials.

The process of placing a dental crown involves several steps. First, the dentist prepares the tooth by removing any decay and shaping it to accommodate the crown. Then, an impression is taken of the prepared tooth, and a temporary crown may be placed while the final crown is being made. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory, where the permanent crown is custom-made to fit the patient’s tooth.

Once the permanent crown is ready, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and place the permanent crown on the prepared tooth. The crown is then adjusted for proper fit and bite, and it is cemented into place.

Dental crowns can be used to address a variety of dental issues, including tooth decay, tooth fractures, teeth that have undergone root canal treatment, and cosmetic concerns. They provide long-term protection and restoration to damaged teeth, and with proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits, dental crowns can last for many years.


Advantages of Crowns:

There are several advantages to using dental crowns:

  1. Protection: Dental crowns provide a protective barrier for weak or damaged teeth. They cover the entire tooth structure above the gum line, preventing further decay, fractures, or damage.
  2. Strengthening: Crowns can strengthen teeth that have undergone extensive decay or are weakened due to root canal treatment. By capping the tooth, the crown provides added strength and stability, allowing the tooth to function properly.
  3. Restoration: Crowns can restore the shape, size, and appearance of a tooth that is severely damaged or has a large filling. They can help improve the aesthetics of your smile by enhancing the shape and colour of the tooth.
  4. Durability: Dental crowns are made from durable materials, such as ceramic or metal alloys, that can withstand the forces of biting and chewing. With proper care, crowns can last for many years, providing long-term restoration.
  5. Comfort: Crowns are custom-made to fit your tooth precisely, ensuring a comfortable and natural fit. They are designed to feel and function like your natural teeth, allowing you to eat, speak, and smile with ease.
  6. Versatility: Crowns can be used to address a variety of dental issues, including decay, fractures, large fillings, misshapen teeth, and cosmetic concerns. They provide a versatile solution for restoring the function and appearance of damaged teeth.
  7. Improved oral health: By covering and protecting damaged teeth, crowns help to maintain good oral health. They prevent bacteria from entering the tooth and causing further decay or infection, reducing the risk of future dental problems.

It is important to note that each individual case is unique, and the suitability of dental crowns should be determined by a qualified dentist. They can provide a comprehensive evaluation and recommend the best treatment option for your specific needs.


Process of Crown preparation and placement:

The process of getting dental crowns typically requires two visits to the dentist. Here’s a breakdown of the procedure:

First Visit:

  1. Consultation and Examination: During the initial visit, you will consult with your dentist to discuss your dental concerns and goals. The dentist will examine your teeth and determine if dental crowns are a suitable treatment option for you.
  2. Tooth Preparation: If dental crowns are deemed appropriate, the dentist will begin by numbing the area around the tooth to ensure a comfortable procedure. They will then reshape the tooth to create space for the crown. This involves removing a portion of the outer surface and any existing decay or damage. The amount of tooth structure that is removed depends on the specific case.
  3. Impressions: Once the tooth is prepared, the dentist will take impressions of the tooth and the surrounding teeth. These impressions serve as a blueprint for the dental laboratory to create your custom crown. You may also have your bite recorded to ensure proper alignment of the crown.
  4. Temporary Crown: To protect the prepared tooth until the permanent crown is ready, a temporary crown is placed. This temporary crown is usually made of acrylic or stainless steel and is held in place with temporary cement.

Second Visit:

  1. Removal of Temporary Crown: During the second visit, the temporary crown is carefully removed. The dentist will clean the area and ensure that the prepared tooth is free from any temporary cement residue.
  2. Crown Placement: The dentist will try in the permanent crown and assess its fit, colour, and shape. Adjustments may be made to ensure a proper fit and bite. Once the crown meets all the necessary criteria, it will be permanently cemented into place using dental cement.
  3. Final Evaluation: After the crown is cemented, the dentist will check your bite and make any additional adjustments if needed. They will also provide instructions on how to care for and maintain your new dental crown.

It’s important to follow any post-treatment instructions provided by your dentist and maintain good oral hygiene to ensure the longevity and success of your dental crown. Additionally, regular dental check-ups are important to monitor the health and condition of your crown and overall oral health.

Specific indications for a Crown:

Crowns, also known as dental caps, are commonly indicated for the following dental conditions:

  1. Extensive tooth decay: When a tooth has significant decay that cannot be effectively treated with a filling, a crown is often recommended to restore the tooth’s structure and prevent further damage.
  2. Fractured or broken teeth: Teeth that have experienced severe fractures or breaks may require a crown to cover and protect the remaining tooth structure. Crowns provide strength and stability to a weakened tooth.
  3. Root canal-treated teeth: After undergoing root canal therapy, teeth can become brittle and more prone to fracture. A crown is often placed on a root canal-treated tooth to protect it and restore its function.
  4. Large fillings: When a tooth has a large filling that covers most of the tooth structure, a crown may be necessary to provide better support and durability. Crowns help prevent the filling from weakening or breaking the remaining tooth structure.
  5. Cosmetic purposes: Crowns can be used for aesthetic reasons to improve the appearance of misshapen, severely discoloured, or poorly aligned teeth. They can create a more aesthetically pleasing and symmetrical smile.
  6. Teeth with extensive wear: Teeth that have experienced significant wear due to factors such as bruxism (tooth grinding) or acid erosion may require crowns to restore their height, function, and appearance.

Crowns offer several benefits, including the restoration of tooth strength and function, improved appearance, and protection against further damage. However, each case is unique, and the decision to place a crown is based on careful evaluation and discussion between the dentist and the patient to determine the most appropriate treatment option.


Specific indications for a Onlay:

Onlays are commonly indicated for the following dental conditions:

  1. Moderate to extensive decay: When a tooth has decay that extends beyond the chewing surfaces but still has intact side walls, an onlay can be used to restore the tooth. It allows for the removal of the decay and the placement of a custom-made restoration that covers the damaged area.
  2. Fractured or cracked teeth: Onlays can effectively restore teeth that have suffered fractures or cracks that do not extend into the tooth root or compromise the tooth’s stability. The onlay helps protect and support the tooth structure while restoring its function.
  3. Large existing fillings: When a tooth has a significant existing filling that needs replacement due to deterioration or recurrent decay, an onlay can be used to provide a more substantial and long-lasting restoration. It allows for the preservation of more natural tooth structure compared to a full crown.
  4. Mild to moderate tooth wear: Teeth that have experienced mild to moderate wear from habits like grinding or acid erosion can benefit from onlays. The onlay covers the worn areas, restores proper occlusion, and protects the remaining tooth structure.
  5. Aesthetic concerns in posterior teeth: Onlays can address aesthetic concerns in the back teeth (premolars and molars) where full crowns may not be necessary. They provide a conservative option for improving the appearance of moderately damaged or discoloured teeth.

Some benefits of onlays over other restorations include their ability to preserve more natural tooth structure, their durable composition, and their functionality in restoring bite and chewing. However, it is essential for a dentist to assess the specific circumstances and determine whether an onlay is the appropriate treatment option.


Specific indications for an Inlay:

Inlays are commonly indicated for the following dental conditions:

  1. Moderate to extensive decay or damage: When a tooth has decay or damage that primarily affects the chewing surfaces or proximal (between the teeth) areas, an inlay can be used to restore the tooth. It allows for the removal of the damaged or decayed portion and the placement of a custom-made restoration.
  2. Fractured cusps: When the cusps (the pointed parts of the chewing surface) of a tooth are fractured, but the remaining tooth structure is relatively healthy, an inlay can be used to restore the affected area while preserving the remaining tooth structure.
  3. Replacement of large existing fillings: In cases where a large filling needs to be replaced due to deterioration or recurrent decay, an inlay can be a suitable solution. It provides a more substantial restoration that covers the affected area, ensuring better protection and longevity.
  4. Mild to moderate tooth wear: Inlays can be used to address tooth wear caused by grinding, bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching), or other factors. They restore the natural shape and function of the affected teeth, protecting against further damage and reducing sensitivity.
  5. Aesthetic concerns in posterior teeth: Inlays can be used to improve the appearance of posterior teeth (premolars and molars) when there is moderately severe discoloration, staining, or minor misalignment that does not require the coverage of a full crown or veneer.

The benefits of inlays include their ability to preserve more natural tooth structure compared to other restorations, their precise fit, and their durability. They can restore the strength and function of the tooth while providing an aesthetically pleasing result. However, the decision to use an inlay should be based on a thorough examination and evaluation by a dentist to determine the most suitable treatment option for the specific dental condition.



Analogue Impressions and Intra Oral Scanner:

Analogue impressions and intraoral scanners are two different methods used to obtain dental impressions for various dental procedures, including dental crowns.

  1. Analogue Impressions: Analogue impressions involve the use of traditional dental impression materials, such as alginate or polyvinylsiloxane (PVS). Here’s how the process typically works:
  2. Preparation: The dentist will first isolate the tooth or teeth being treated and ensure they are dry and free from saliva.
  3. Mixing the Impression Material: The chosen dental impression material is mixed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Placing the Impression Material: The dentist will place the mixed impression material into a tray or putty-like material and then carefully position it over the teeth to be captured. The patient will bite down while the material sets to create an impression of the teeth.
  5. Removal and Inspection: Once the material sets and hardens, the tray is gently removed, and the resulting impression is inspected for accuracy and quality. The impression is then sent to a dental laboratory for the fabrication of the dental crown.
  6. Intraoral Scanners: Intraoral scanners are advanced digital devices used to capture highly accurate and detailed 3D images of the teeth and oral tissues. Here’s how the process typically works:
  7. Scanning Process: The dentist will use a handheld wand-like device with a built-in camera to scan and capture a series of images of the teeth, gums, and surrounding structures.
  8. Real-Time Imaging: As the dentist moves the intraoral scanner over the teeth, real-time imaging is displayed on a computer screen. This allows for immediate assessment and adjustments, if necessary, to ensure all areas are accurately captured.
  9. Digital Impressions: The captured images are used to create virtual models of the teeth, which serve as digital impressions. These digital impressions can be sent directly to a dental laboratory, eliminating the need for physical models.

Both analogue impressions and intraoral scanners have their advantages and limitations. Analogue impressions have been used for many years and provide precise results when performed correctly. Intraoral scanners offer the benefits of speed, accuracy, and digital convenience but may require a higher initial investment.

The choice between analogue impressions and intraoral scanners often depends on factors such as the dentist’s preference, the complexity of the case, patient comfort, and the availability of equipment. Your dentist will determine the most suitable method to obtain accurate impressions for your dental crown procedure.


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