An Introduction to Cosmetic Dentistry: Facts, Questions and More

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The Four Step Process for Dental Crowns

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People tend to make instantaneous judgements whenever they meet somebody for the first time. Usually, the first thing that they focus on is the quality of a person's smile. It's not surprising, therefore, that a lot of people want to modify the look of their smile, to help them with general self-confidence. A dentist may often advise that a crown is put in place in order to boost both functionality and looks. If your dentist has advised that this is the way forward, what can you look forward to with the procedure?

Prep Work

When you go to the dentist the first thing that needs to be done is to modify your teeth so that they will accept the new crown. The dentist will grind the front teeth down to a certain shape using a tool specially made for the purpose. Of course, an amount of anaesthetic will be applied before the work commences and you will not feel anything. This takes a little bit of precision work by the dentist. As he or she develops the base for the crown, it may be necessary to use some filling material so that the shape is perfected.

Making an Impression

As soon as the dentist is okay with the initial work, then it is time to make an impression in order to manufacture the crown itself. A very thin cord is used to move the gums away from the teeth ever so slightly before a special tray that is filled with dental putty is introduced. The dentist will leave this tray in place for several minutes before removing it. The end result will be a very accurate rendition of the teeth that will be used as the anchor. Once this tray is sent to a dental laboratory a cast will be made of plaster in order to create the crown itself.

Temporary Replacement

While the assistant works away to prepare the mold to be sent to the lab, the dentist begins to make a temporary replacement. This is not intended to be as aesthetic as the finished result, but will nonetheless allow you to go about your daily life without worrying about your appearance. Special cement is used to hold the temporary crown in place and this can be easily dislodged by the dentist when you visit next.

The Finished Masterpiece

It may take 10 days or more for the laboratory to make your new crown and send it back to your dentist. At that time you can go back in for fitment. At this visit, the dentist will go to great lengths to ensure that the crown fits "just right" and that you can bite and chew properly, as well as looking like a million dollars, of course! When happy, the crown is finally attached with permanent cement.