Make a Great First Impression for Dental Crowns
July 31, 2019
If you have a cavity that is too large to be corrected with a filling, you may be a good candidate for a crown. During a crown procedure, your dentist will shape your tooth with burs and then place a prosthetic over the remaining enamel. This restores its appearance, function, and occlusal anatomy.
Your dentist will also need to take an impression of the prepared tooth. This impression will be sent to a dental lab, where the negative space will be filled with gypsum to create a model of your tooth. Technicians at the dental lab will fabricate your crown from this model, so it must be extremely precise.
You may think there's not a lot that you can do to help the dentist capture this impression, but here are three tips to keep in mind.
1. Make Sure You Schedule Ample Time for Your Appointment
Although your dentist may only need about fifteen to twenty minutes to prepare your tooth, there are other aspects of the crown procedure, such as:
* Applying anesthetic
* Taking x-rays
* Cleaning out any remaining decay or old fillings
* Creating and fitting a temporary crown
Dentists and their assistants try to move as quickly as possible, but sometimes the impression material distorts, so they may need to take another one. Some dentists may also prefer to take more than one impression so that the laboratory technicians can choose the best version to work from.
Ultimately, it's important to schedule a good block of time so that your dental team can get the best impression possible.
2. Make Sure Your Dentist Is Up to Date on Your Medications and Health Conditions
In order to capture the margin — a ledge-like ring around the prepared tooth — your dentist will need to use a retraction cord. Retraction cords gently push gum tissue away from the edges of your tooth, so that the impression material can capture as much information of the tooth as possible.
However, some retraction cords are soaked in hemodent, a liquid that helps to restrict bleeding. This kind of drug is known as a vasoconstrictor and narrows blood vessels, so if you have any health conditions or take any medications, it's important to let your doctor know so they can decide if you have a contraindication or not.
If you have a medical issue, the team can use a retraction cord that isn't presoaked so they can still get a good impression and keep you safe.
3. Ask about Practice Bites if You're Sore or Numb
Dentists use local anesthetics, like lidocaine, so that you don't experience any discomfort during the procedure. Your dentist may also place a bite-block, or a wedge-shaped tool for you to rest your teeth on if you have trouble keeping your mouth open.
However, there is a hidden downside to these elements. When you bite down in the impression tray, the crown preparation may be accurate, but your bite may be inaccurate due to numbness and muscle soreness.
Believe it or not, how your upper and lower jaws come together is important for crown fabrication. When a dental lab designs a crown, they need to know the height and contours of cusps and fossa so that when a patient bites down, he or she doesn't place undue pressure in one area or another.
Dental technicians often work with less than one millimeter of clearance, so again, these bite impressions, or registrations, need to be accurate. Before the dentist places the impression material in your mouth, ask him or her if you can take a breather to massage your cheeks. And be sure to do some practice bites since the anesthetic may be making your favor one side or another when biting.
For more information about crown procedures, we at the Airport Road Dental Associates can help you out. Contact (https://www.airportroaddental.com/contact.html) Airport Road Dental Associates, PC, today for more details!