When your tooth has been heavily restored or had a root canal treatment, it can compromise its strength and we will often recommend a crown for your tooth. The goal is to keep your tooth healthy and prevent it from breaking. To do this we will prepare your tooth by giving it a “haircut”. We’ll take a little of the top and off the sides to allow us room for a restorative material to cover the chewing surface and sides of your tooth as necessary for the material we’re using.
There are two ways this process may happen, in a one or two-step process:
The Nutshell version:
rarely need a traditional impression
crown made in the office
shorter first visit
crown made by a lab or the office
The Detailed version:
The two-step process, most commonly used today, is where we prepare your tooth, make an impression of it, and send that impression to a dental lab. We then make a “temporary” crown for you that you’ll have in your mouth for a week or two until we get your crown back from the lab and we can cement your permanent crown. This method is great for those who need as short of visits as possible, though it does require the second visit to cement the permanent crown.
When we can do the process in one step, we prepare your tooth and then scan it (instead of “the goop”) to create a 3D model. We use that to design a crown for you right in front of you and then send it to our milling machine and oven, so you get to have your permanent crown cemented in the same appointment. This method will take more time that day, but you don’t have to come back for a second visit. While this method cannot be used in every situation, we’re happy to offer this service whenever it makes sense for you and what is best for your mouth.