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What to Expect During the Dental Crown Procedure


Updated July 03, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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Dental Crown Procedure - Cementing the Permanent Crown

It generally takes the dental laboratory roughly seven to ten business days to make your permanent crown. Your dentist will ensure you have your cementation appointment scheduled before you leave the office after your tooth preparation appointment.

When you return to the dental office to have your permanent crown cemented, the dentist will begin the appointment by numbing the prepared tooth and surrounding tissues with local anesthetic. Even though the tooth is already prepared, the dentist needs to thoroughly clean the tooth before cementing the permanent crown. If you had a root canal preformed on the prepared tooth, you will likely not require any local anesthetic.

Once the prepared tooth is completely numb, your dentist will remove the temporary crown from the tooth. All of the temporary cement is removed from the tooth, and the tooth is completely dried. Your dentist will then try the permanent crown on the tooth. Using a piece of dental floss, your dentist will also check the contacts in between the crown and adjacent teeth to ensure there is an ideal contact between the teeth. Contacts that are too tight, or no contact at all pose a problem for you in the long run. A contact that is too tight will cause problems for you when you floss your teeth. No contact in between the teeth will allow food to become lodged in between the teeth causing the potential for tooth decay.
If the contact is too tight, your dentist will reduce a small amount from the adjacent tooth, not the crown. In cases where there is no contact, it may be necessary for the crown to be sent back to the laboratory to be remade.

When your dentist is satisfied with the fit of the crown, the final cementation process begins. This process involves keeping your tooth completely isolated from any saliva or water in your mouth. Cotton rolls may be placed on both sides of the tooth to keep the area dry. When the tooth is isolated any dried, a desensitizing agent may be applied to the tooth. The desensitizing agent will help with any postoperative tooth sensitivity.
Your dentist will then place a bonding material onto the prepared tooth. Some bonding agents require a curing light to set the material. Once the bonding agent has been set, the dental assistant will fill your permanent crown with cement and carefully pass the crown over to your dentist. Your dentist will place the crown on your tooth, and remove some of the excess cement that squeezes out from underneath the crown. Depending on the cement chosen, a curing light may be used again to set the cement completely. Floss will be used to remove the excess cement from in between the teeth, and a dental scaler is used to remove excess cement from around the tooth and below the gumline.

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