You start with a consultation with your dentist discussing all treatment options. The first step in the treatment is to prepare the teeth where the crown is to be applied. This is done by cleaning the tooth, removing all lesions and shaping the tooth with a diamond drill (drill to grind the teeth). The whole session is done during local anesthesia. The shape of the tooth is tapered so that there is room for the crown can be attached.
When the teeth are prepared, a touch of your teeth is taken – either using conventional or digital printing technology. A conventional print is taken by means of a special print material in a pushbutton. The completed print is then sent to a dental laboratory where they use the impression to make a crown.
The color sample is either at the clinic or at the laboratory technician. It usually takes between 1-2 weeks for the technician to produce the crown. In the meantime, the dentist will put a temporary crown – usually a composite crown – to cover and protect your prepared tooth. On your next visit, the temporary crown is removed by etching the outer layer of the prepared tooth. This is done to give the tooth an uneven surface so that the cement has a good surface to glue. Your dentist puts the crown on the tooth to check function, color and aesthetics and edge adjustment. Once you and the dentist are satisfied with the result, the crown can be cemented in place.
Most dentists offer digital prints instead of the conventional ones. Then a digital image of the teeth is sent to a dental laboratory or to the dentist’s own milling machine. If the dentist has a milling machine, the treatment takes place during a visit. You can read more about digital prints here.