Placing a permanent dental crown typically takes two dental office visits, but some new technology allows crowns to be produced in one day. During the first visit, the dentist will numb the tooth and surrounding gum tissue, and then shape the biting surface and sides of the tooth to allow space for the new crown (restoration) to be placed. An impression of the prepared tooth and jaw is taken as well as the opposite jaw may also be taken to help create the proper bite relationship. If the tooth is very decayed or otherwise too small to hold the crown, the dentist may “build up” the tooth to hold the crown.
Once the tooth is shaped, the dentist makes an impression of the tooth to send to the dental laboratory that will make the custom crown. If the dentist is placing a porcelain or porcelain fused to metal crown, he or she will also determine a shade of porcelain to match the surrounding teeth. During this first office visit, the dentist will make a temporary crown to cover the prepared tooth until the permanent one is ready. This temporary crown is typically made out of a plastic-type material, and your dentist may ask you to refrain from chewing gum or sticky substances while your temporary crown is in place.
At the second visit, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and test the fit of the new crown. If the new crown fits and the color is correct, the dentist may numb the tooth and surrounding gums and cement the crown in place. The dentist will then evaluate your teeth to make sure the crowned tooth fits with the bite of your other teeth. After the new crown has been placed, you may need additional dental visits to adjust the crown so it fits comfortably.3