Your dentist can diagnose dental decay in a number of ways, including asking you about your symptoms such as a toothache or dental sensitivity, examining your teeth, taking dental X-rays, and performing a probing examination with dental instruments. If you have severe dental decay and want to save your teeth from extraction, your dentist may suggest dental crowns. Here are some things you need to know about getting a dental crown so that you can be sure that it is a viable treatment option for you.
You will need a couple of dental appointments for your crown procedure. At your first appointment, your dentist will examine the decayed tooth and will prepare it so that the crown fits precisely.
The dentist will also take an impression of your tooth to be sent to the dental lab where your crown will be made. During your initial visit, the dentist may place a temporary crown over your tooth while you are waiting for your permanent crown.
A temporary crown is placed over your tooth because the preparation of the tooth involves reshaping of the tooth, which may not look cosmetically pleasing. The temporary crown hides the reshaped tooth so that you can feel confident when out in public. At your second visit, your temporary crown will be removed, and after your dentist administers a local anesthetic, your permanent crown will be put into place with special cement.
After your permanent crown has been placed, your dentist will recommend that you care for it as you would your natural tooth. You will also be instructed to avoid hard foods and to avoid drinking or eating very hot items until the anesthetic wears off because you could get hurt since the area will be numb.
Your dentist will also tell you to only chew on side of your mouth that has not been treated with a crown. Also, if you develop any sensitivity after getting your crown, brush with a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth. While you won't experience severe pain as a result of your newly treated tooth, you may notice slight soreness. For this, take ibuprofen or acetaminophen, and rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution to help with inflammation.
If you think dental crowns are the right treatment option for you, make an appointment with your dentist. It is important to note that if your tooth is severely infected or if you have a dental abscess, you may need to take a course of antibiotics before your crown procedure can begin.