I have never been crazy about going to the dentist. I had a toothache and decided to go in because it means something is wrong. It turns out I have a large cavity. Now I have to have a dental crown. I’m really nervous about this. What can I expect?
It’s good that you went in. The fact that you did despite your dental anxiety means you are courageous. If you’d allowed your fear to get the better of you, you would have ended up with a dental infection. That would have meant an additional procedure of a root canal treatment. Or, possibly your tooth would not be able to be saved and you’d need to have it extracted and replaced. To get a great replacement, like a dental implant, requires surgery. Obviously, you made the right decision.
What to expect depends on the type of dental crown you’re getting. Did your dentist mention whether you’re getting a traditional crown or a CEREC crown?
What to Expect with a Traditional Crown
If you’re getting a traditional crown, it takes two visits. First, your dentist will have to remove any decay as well as grind down enough tooth structure to make room for the dental crown. You can see how small your natural tooth has to be in the image above. After that, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth and fit you with a temporary crown. The impression will be sent to the lab to make your permanent crown.
It takes a couple of weeks for the permanent crown to be made and sent to your dental office. Then your dentist will call you, fit you with the permanent crown and bond it on.
What to Expect with a CEREC Crown
Given your anxiety, this will be a better option for you. First, they can be done in just one appointment. That minimizes how often you have to come in. Second, many patients hate having to do impressions. The goo is messy and bad tasting. With CEREC crowns, you just have a digital image made and a computer designs the crown. Not only is this less nerve-racking, it’s faster and more accurate.
While you’re at the office, the computer will mill the crown immediately and your dentist can then bond it on before you leave.
This is a must simpler procedure. Plus, if you’re still nervous, it’s very compatible with a sedation such as nitrous oxide which can relax you.
A Front Tooth Requires an Expert Cosmetic Dentist
You didn’t mention which tooth is being crowned. If it’s a front tooth, there’s an additional consideration. It’s very challenging to match a single crown to a front tooth. You will need to find a dentist with both technical expertise and artistry.
In your place, I’d look for a dentist who has reached accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Simply go to aacd.com and look for an AACD accredited dentist in your area. They can give you a beautiful crown that blends in perfectly with your other front tooth.
This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.