How Does a Dentist Prepare Teeth for a Crown?

Is it painful or a long process?

Doctor Answers 7

How a Tooth is Prepared for a Crown

Crown preparation is a routine procedure which should be 100% pain free with properly administered local anesthesia. The dentist simply reduces the tooth in a  circumferential manner  to allow ample room for the crown to be placed. Proper reduction of the tooth will allow for the Crown to be structurally durable while at the same provide a natural feeling to the patient in terms of size and fit. If the Crown is to be made at a Dental Lab the Dentist will fabricate an Acrylic Temporary Crown to keep the patient comfortable until the Permanent Crown is delivered to the patient. This process generally takes about two weeks to complete.

Can be made easy

We seldom have any significant discomfort during this procedure.  Modern anesthesia should take care of anything that comes along, barring sever infection in the area, which can make anesthesia difficult to achieve.  

John Whittemore, DDS
Memphis Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Tooth Preparation for the Crowns

It should not be painful and the dentist should make sure that you are not in any kind of pain during the procedure. Some kind of discomfort is inevitable specially if its a back tooth , a hard to reach area. But again there shouldn't be any pain associated with the tooh. You should be comfortably numb. The first appointment is usually long when the dentist reduces the tooth structure and makes an impression either by packing cords or electro surg/laser/etc. and then a temporary crown . The second appointment, final crown cementation , should be a small one .

Some offices do single visit crowns, whereby the final crown is cemented the same day making the appointment  a little more longer.

There can be some post-op discomfort in the tooth and or around the gums but the dentist should discuss all this with you before starting the procedure.

Dalvir Pannu, DDS
San Jose Dentist

Pain-free crown proceedures

Crowns should not cause discomfort in a non-compromised tooth. Local anesthetic can  be administered to eliminate discomfort and sedation is available for anxiety.  The tooth is then reduced a minimal amount for the material used, a digital impression can be taken (no gagging or bad taste) and an attractive temporary made in minutes. The final crown is inserted at a second visit 2-3 weeks later.

Mickey Bernstein, DDS
Memphis Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Should not be painful

The process is fairly simple, in that the dentist would make you comfortable (numb etc) and remove enough tooth structure to reinforce the tooth. An impression of the prepared tooth is made and a temporary crown fabricated over the prepped tooth. The temporary and final crown fit similar to how two inverted styrofoam cups fit together. The perfect fit creates some retention (in this case suction). Cement is added to the crown for permanent retention.

Reduction of 0.5 or 1.0 mm on the sides of the tooth and up to 2.0 mm on the top or tip of the tooth is all that is needed.  4.0 mm is WAY more than needed, and MOST dentists will not reduce a tooth by this much.

A well done crown should fit comfortably and eventually feel like nothing was ever done.

Lance Timmerman, DMD, MAGD
Seattle Dentist
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Preparing teeth for a crown

The process should definitely not be uncomfortable. You should immediately notify your dentist if you feel discomfort.

Typically, a crown is needed because the tooth is significantly broken down and needs to be structurally reinforced. This is done by shaping the remaining tooth structure so that there is enough space for a crown to fit over the prepared tooth. This protects the tooth by creating a "hugging" effect whenever a bite force is placed on the tooth.

Richard Champagne, DMD
Freehold Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Crowns on teeth or dental caps

To fit a cap over a tooth you have to allow room for it .

your dentist will reduce the tooth in all directions and check your bite to see that there is enough clearance for the dental technitian to stack the porcelain and or metal/porcelain 

The guidelines are a space of at least 2 to 4 mm around and on top of the tooth ;to carve this space your dentist will make you fully numb and will let you go home with an acrylic temporary crown to protect the tooth

Laura Torrado, DDS
New York Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.