Dental CrownsWhat is the dental crown procedure

Crowns are a widespread kind of restorative dentistry that involves placing a cap onto a tooth to protect it from decay or fracture. It is also used to hold a dental implant or bridge in place. Patients are often nervous upon hearing they need a crown but are much assured once they know what the procedure involves.

Within this blog we will be covering all the key points to know about the dental crown procedure is to put your mind at rest. This includes the procedure itself, the aftercare and some potential issues that may arise afterwards

The dental crown procedure

The dental crown procedure that a patient undertakes will be based on whether the dentist has decided on a multiple visit procedure or a single visits procedure. These two options have both been detailed below

Multiple visit dental crown procedure

This procedure is the most common and usually entails two separate visits to the dentist. The key steps have been detailed below…

  1. Firstly, the dentist will evaluate and prepare the tooth which requires the crown. In this step there may be some x-rays taken of the tooth, and a mould may also be taken.
  2. The tooth will then be adjusted to the necessary size and the part of the outer layer will be removed
  3. An impression or digital scan will then be taken around the trimmed tooth and surrounding structures
  4. A temporary crown will be used over the tooth to protect it before the next visit
  5. Following this visit the impression will be transferred over to the lab in order to make the crown, and this stage can take between days or weeks. At our dental clinic, the turnaround is usually two weeks but could be faster in some cases.
  6. You will then revisit the dentist when the crown has arrived, and the temporary crown is removed and replaced with the permanent crown which will be cemented into place.

Single visit dental crown procedure

If you decide to undertake a single visit crown procedure then no temporary crown will be required, and this stage is removed. However, it is best to check that your dental practice can carry out this procedure, as some practices do not possess the technology. The key steps of this procedure are detailed below…

  1. Firstly, the dentist will take digital scans of your mouth
  2. Utilising these scanned images, they will be able to form a crown on the same day, however, you will need to wait 1-2 hours for this crown to be formed
  3. As soon as the crown is complete it will be cemented into position, and the entire process should take between 2-4 hours in total
  4. You are then free to leave with your brand-new crown in place

Dental crown aftercare

Dental crown aftercare is of the utmost importance, as if you do not take good care of the crown then it can greatly reduce its potential lifespan. Some good tips for prolonging the life of your dental crown are detailed below…

Temporary crown aftercare

Try to be as gentle as possible when brushing or flossing, as this can dislodge or damage the crown

On some temporaries, the retention may not be very good, so it’s advised to avoid eating on the tooth. Your dentist will advise on any special precautions to take depending upon the tooth in question.

Permanent crown aftercare

  • Avoid eating for the following hour. Depending on the type of cement used – sometimes you may need to avoid eating on it for a whole 24 hours.
  • If you happen to grind your teeth at night, then a gum shield may be required to avoid damage to your teeth and crown
  • Ensure you floss regularly to keep your crown and teeth in good condition
  • Maintain a regular brushing schedule of at least twice a day and ensure you are gentle around your crown, potentially using a sensitive toothpaste

Potential issues that may result from a dental crown

While a crown can be a great option for dealing with a problematic tooth, there are some potential issues it can cause. Some of the key issues which can be caused have been outlined below.


It is possible that the crowned tooth does suffer some sensitivity due to the treatment it has undertaken before the crown can be placed. This will likely only happen if it is exposed to extremely cold/hot items. However, if you notice significant sensitivity when biting down then you will have to contact the dentist immediately to deal with the issue.

Loose/fallen crown

If there is not enough adhesive used or the adhesive is damaged at some point, then it can cause the crown to become loose or totally fall out. In this scenario, the dentist will be able to reattach it and advise you how to avoid problems in the future.

Damage to the crown

Some crown types can chip over time. If the damage is not significant then the chips can be repaired, although in serious cases a new crown may be needed.