How to Prepare for Dental Crown Procedure

A dental crown is a cap placed over your tooth when it has been significantly weakened due to an injury, cavity, or dental work such as a root canal.

It can be made of many porcelain, ceramic, or metal materials.

You may be a candidate for same-day crown installation depending on the type of material most suited to your needs, or your dentist may fit your new crown across two appointments. Whether you choose a multi-day or same-day operation, knowing how they differ will help you prepare.

Crown prep for all types of crowns

Examination of your mouth

Your dentist will examine your mouth. This will include assessing the tooth that needs the crown and the surrounding area. They might take X-rays of the tooth to provide a better image of the tooth’s roots and surrounding bone.


During dental crown preparation, dentists will use a local anesthetic. Your dentist might inject a numbing chemical into your gums to relieve pain.

Conscious sedation is also available at some dentists. You will be awake for the procedure while under conscious sedation, although you will feel tired and comfortable. This can help to alleviate any anxiety you may be experiencing. 

Sometimes, people with high anxiety may require general anesthesia.

Preparation of the tooth

Your dentist will most likely need to file, shave down, or remove a portion of the tooth’s outer coating. The amount can differ. They will file down the top and sides of your tooth with a tool, making it smaller and smoother. There may also be a need to rebuild and strengthen a broken tooth so that it can support the crown.

This is a crucial phase. If the tooth is not filed down to the proper form before the crown is fitted, the crown may not fit properly on top of it. An incorrectly prepared tooth may cause your bite to be crooked. A misaligned bite can cause enamel damage on your teeth as well as pain and tension in the joints in your jaw.

The next phase will be determined by the type of crown you receive.

Crown prep for a multi-day procedure

Tooth impressions

Your dentist will take an impression of your tooth and the surrounding area, which will be submitted to a lab to create a custom-fit crown.

Temporary crown placement

Your dentist will next apply a temporary crown to the top of your tooth. This cap will fit over your tooth, but it is not intended to stay in place for long. Its purpose is to safeguard your susceptible tooth until your dentist can place a permanent crown on it.

You may return home once you have received the temporary crown. Take care of your temporary crown, which isn’t meant to last long.

Return to the dentist’s office

You’ll return to your dentist’s office around two weeks later to have the temporary crown removed.

Final crown placement

Your dentist will select a dental cement appropriate for the type of crown you are receiving and the location, as these factors might alter the amount of stress the crown must withstand. According to studies, resin cement is the finest choice for a zirconia crown.

The dentist will apply a homogeneous layer of cement to the inside of the crown. The crown will then be properly fitted onto your tooth. Any excess cement will be carefully removed or scraped away after it has been properly installed.

Crown prep for a one-day procedure

If you’re a “let’s get this over with” type of person, there’s some good news: If your dentist offers same-day crowns, you’ll only need to show up once to have your new crown produced and installed. You only have to wait while the crown is created.

Here’s how the technique differs from the multi-day procedure:


When you obtain a same-day crown, your dentist will take digital scans of your mouth, concentrating on the tooth that needs a crown and the surrounding area. This scan is used to produce a three-dimensional representation of your mouth.

Creating the crown

The measurements and information from the digital photos will be sent to the equipment that will build the crown by your dentist. They will construct and design your crown model using CAD/CAM tools.

The crown will then be sculpted out of a ceramic block using a milling device based on the model. Depending on the type, the gadget will remove surplus ceramic, then gradually trim and refine the piece until it is the correct shape for your mouth.

Installing the crown

When the crown is finished, your dentist will select a dental cement for installation. Then, you’ll be asked to open your mouth wide again so they may carefully place the crown onto your prepped tooth.

You can also request an anesthetic before the installation of your same-day crown. You will be fine as the numbness from the local anesthetic wears off.

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