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What is a porcelain crown?

Porcelain crowns replace the exterior portion of a tooth to re-establish its original function and create a natural appearance. Crowns are the treatment of choice when tooth decay has destroyed most of the original tooth or when a traumatic event has caused damage. They are also an option for people who grind their teeth to the degree that the original structure of their teeth has been compromised.

Why porcelain?

The great benefit to porcelain crowns is that they not only replicate the original tooth but can be designed to look equal to or better than the original. For the front of your mouth, porcelain crowns are always the best choice.

What is involved with putting in porcelain crowns?

Once the tooth and tissues have been numbed, a rubber dam is placed over the tooth involved, which is used to trap old filling material and water from falling into your mouth. Preparing the tooth involves removing very precise amounts of tooth and filling material. If your tooth has undergone a recent root canal, a composite core may be placed as well during this step.

After the tooth has been prepared, the dentist takes an impression of your teeth. You will then be asked to bite down. It is very important to continue biting into the impression until the material is fully set, which takes between three and five minutes.

The temporary crown is then shaped to fit your tooth. Because your dentist has removed a substantial amount of tooth structure from the prepared tooth, the temporary crown is important, acting as a barrier and keeping the prepared tooth in place. Generally, it takes the dental laboratory seven to 10 business days to make your permanent crown.

When you return to our office to have your permanent crown cemented, the dentist will remove the temporary crown then try the permanent crown on the tooth. If the contact between the teeth is too tight, we will reduce a small amount from the adjacent tooth, not the crown. When the dentist is satisfied with the fit of the crown, the final cementation process begins. Floss is used to remove excess cement from in between the teeth, while a dental scaler is used to remove excess cement from around the tooth and below the gumline. It takes approximately 10 minutes for the permanent cement to set. When ready, we then check your bite. Any high spots on the crown are reduced on the opposing tooth.


It is imperative to continue following a strict oral hygiene regimen that includes brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings for your crown.