How is a Crown Put on a Tooth? A Step-by-Step Guide

Date: March 02, 2024

Getting a dental crown is a common recommendation by dentists to restore and protect damaged teeth. Often described as a cap, the dental crown covers the tooth, typically made from materials like ceramic or metal. Its main functions are to enhance the tooth’s strength, appearance, and to prevent further damage. Crowns are essential for teeth that are cracked, chipped, or have undergone significant procedures like root canal therapy. If your dentist suggests a crown, it indicates a need to replace compromised tooth structure. Understanding how to put a crown on a tooth helps in comprehending the detailed process involved in dental crown placement, which restores the tooth’s shape, function, and integrity effectively. This knowledge is pivotal as it involves assessing the extent of damage and meticulously preparing the tooth to ensure the crown fits perfectly and functions seamlessly with your natural teeth.

Why You Might Need a Crown?

If you’re considering how to put a crown on a tooth, it typically means your dentist has identified that a crown would significantly enhance your oral health. Here are detailed reasons why a dentist might recommend a crown:


      • Large Cavities: If a cavity is extensive, there might not be enough healthy tooth structure remaining to support a traditional filling. In such cases, a crown is used to completely cap the tooth, providing essential protection and structural support.

      • Cracked or Broken Teeth: Crowns stabilize teeth weakened by cracks or breaks to prevent further damage.

      • Worn-Down Teeth: Teeth that have been diminished due to grinding or acid erosion can be restored to their original size and functionality with crowns.

      • After Root Canal Therapy: Teeth tend to become more fragile following root canal treatment, making crowns necessary to safeguard against potential fractures.

      • Misshapen Teeth: Crowns can also be used to correct the appearance and function of teeth that are misshapen or crooked.

      • Tooth Implants: Crowns are the final step in the dental implant process, providing both functional chewing surfaces and a natural appearance.

    In each of these scenarios, putting a crown on a tooth restores not only the tooth’s strength and functionality but also contributes to improved dental aesthetics and overall oral health.

    How is a crown put on a tooth?

    We will explain the detailed process of dental crown placement, beginning with the thorough preparation of the tooth. It covers the steps involved in reshaping the tooth, ensuring a perfect foundation for the crown to achieve both functional integrity and aesthetic harmony with the existing teeth.

    Preparing the Tooth for Crown Placement

    Once the need for a dental crown has been identified through a thorough evaluation, the next vital step is preparing the tooth for the crown placement procedure. The dentist begins this process by carefully removing any decayed or damaged tooth structure. This meticulous preparation is essential for creating a stable foundation for the crown, ensuring an optimal fit and enhanced longevity. To ensure patient comfort, local anesthesia is administered to numb the affected area, minimizing discomfort and allowing the dentist to work with precision. This stage is critical if you need to put a crown on a tooth, as it sets the stage for the successful integration of the crown with the natural tooth, thereby improving both functionality and aesthetics. This detailed preparation helps ensure that the final crown will blend seamlessly with the existing teeth, offering significant functional and cosmetic benefits.

    Tooth Impressions and Shade Matching

    After the tooth is prepared, the dentist will take an impression to capture the exact size and shape of the prepared tooth. Using either traditional impression materials or cutting-edge digital scanning technology, the dentist captures detailed images of the tooth’s unique contours. These impressions or scans serve as the foundation for crafting a crown that not only fits snugly but also aligns flawlessly with the patient’s natural dentition. The meticulousness of this step ensures optimal comfort and functionality, minimizing any potential issues related to the crown’s fit or bite alignment.

    Equally essential in achieving a natural and aesthetically pleasing result is the art of shade matching. Collaborating closely with the patient, the dentist selects the perfect shade for the crown by considering factors such as tooth color, translucency, and surface texture. This attention to detail is pivotal for seamlessly blending the crown with the surrounding natural teeth. Whether utilizing shade guides or digital imaging, the goal is to create a restoration that is virtually indistinguishable from the adjacent teeth. The combined precision of impressions and thoughtful shade matching underscores the commitment to delivering not only a functionally sound crown but also one that enhances the overall beauty of the patient’s smile.

    The Temporary Crown

    While you wait for your permanent crown, which can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, a temporary crown will be placed on your prepared tooth to protect it. The temporary crown, often made from acrylic or resin, maintains the tooth’s structure and shields it from potential damage or sensitivity.

    Thanks to advances in dental technology, some dentists can now offer same-day crowns with computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM). With CAD/CAM, the dentist can digitally scan the prepared tooth and use milling technology to create the permanent crown right in the office. This eliminates the need for temporary crowns and lengthy offsite laboratory work. The custom-milled crown is made from a solid block of ceramic or composite resin material. It is then polished, stained to match tooth color, and bonded to the prepared tooth all in the same day. Same-day crowns with CAD/CAM allow patients to get their permanent dental restoration placed in a single appointment. However, this technology is not yet universally available. Many dental offices still rely on outside labs and temporary crowns during the crown creation process.

    Permanent Crown Fabrication

    Crafting a permanent dental crown involves a meticulous process carried out in a dental laboratory, showcasing the synergy of advanced technology and top-tier materials. Once the impressions or scans are obtained, the digital or traditional mold is sent to the dental lab where skilled technicians leverage computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) technologies. CAD/CAM systems employ 3D imaging to create a virtual model of the crown, allowing for precise customization. The chosen material, such as ceramic or porcelain, is then meticulously shaped to match the unique specifications of the patient’s tooth. This process ensures a precise fit, optimal functionality, and a natural appearance. While traditional crown fabrication methods may take a couple of weeks, in-office CAD/CAM technology expedites the process significantly, allowing for same-day crown placement. The use of cutting-edge technology not only streamlines the timeline but also enhances the overall precision and efficiency of permanent crown fabrication.

    Final crown Placement

    The culmination of the dental crown journey is the delivery of the final crown, where precision and attention to detail take center stage. The process begins with the removal of the temporary crown, making way for the permanent one. The dentist carefully assesses the fit and alignment of the newly crafted crown, ensuring it seamlessly integrates with the prepared tooth. To secure the crown permanently to the prepared tooth, a specialized resin cement is applied, forming a durable bond that ensures long-lasting stability and natural integration. Meticulous adjustments are then made to guarantee a proper bite, optimal functionality, and aesthetic harmony with the natural teeth. The dentist fine-tunes the crown’s contours, making certain that it aligns flawlessly with the patient’s bite and feels comfortable. The final crown not only restores the tooth’s strength and functionality but also elevates the overall aesthetics of the patient’s smile, delivering a lasting and satisfying result.

    And there you have it – the lowdown on how a crown is put on a tooth! If you find yourself wanting to know more, schedule a consultation with Dr. Rafael Morales at Smiles of Boca in Boca Raton, FL. As a seasoned dental professional, Dr. Morales can provide personalized insights, address your specific concerns, and guide you through the journey of getting a dental crown. If you want to know more about the treatment of porcelain crowns, click here

    Caring for Your New Crown: Maintenance Tips

    Once your new dental crown is in place, maintaining its condition and extending its lifespan involves simple yet crucial steps. Regular oral hygiene is paramount; brush twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to avoid scratching the crown. Flossing daily helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay at the crown’s edges. Additionally, avoid chewing hard foods, ice, or other hard objects that could damage the crown. Regular dental check-ups are essential to monitor the crown’s condition and the health of surrounding teeth. By following these care tips, you can ensure your crown remains functional and aesthetically pleasing for years to come.

    Schedule Your Consultation Today

    If you’re considering a dental crown or have any questions about maintaining your dental health, we’re here to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dental professionals. We’ll provide personalized advice and care tailored to your specific dental needs. Whether you need a new crown or just want to ensure your dental health is at its best, our team is dedicated to providing you with the highest quality care. Call us today or visit our website to book your appointment and take the first step towards a healthier, more confident smile

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    Is an accomplished cosmetic, implant and restorative dentist in Boca Raton, he has been doing what he loves for more than 15 years. Something important to take into account is his particular philosophy, he believes that the key of a good process is to treat his patients as he would treat his own family.