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What is a Dental Crown and How is it Used?

Like many people out there, I don’t have the best dental history. I had a lot of trouble with braces when I was young, and for many reasons, when they finally came off, I had holes where teeth should have been. I was devastated to put it mildly. Since that point, I have continued to struggle with cavities in my adult life and every dental checkup with the Dentist/Dental Hygienist I make, the question is never “will they find a cavity, but how many?” This most recent checkup I got new information, this time when I met with them, they said I needed to get a crown. I was not thrilled with the information, but at the same time I had a feeling they would tell me that at some point.

A “crown” can be used for a few different reasons, but mainly if a patient has a cracked or chipped tooth, or if the patient has a large filling and there isn’t much of the tooth left (in my case, the latter). X-rays are taken first, to ensure that no harm should or would come to the root (or pulp) of the tooth. If there is a risk of damage, a root canal might be performed first. After that, the patient will be numbed so as not to feel any pain and then the Dentist files the tooth down in order to make room for the crown (how much is filled down depends on the material of the crown as well as how much decay is on the tooth. Once that is done, impressions of your teeth are made by either the Dentist or the Dental Assistant and sent to a Dental lab to so that they can create a custom crown for you. At this time, the Dental Assistant will also create a temporary crown for the patient to wear home while they are waiting to get permanent crown back from the lab, which can take 2-3 weeks.

As you can tell, Dental Assistants get to do a large of these types of procedures. As an Expanded Duty Dental Assistant (EDDA) you can do anything that is reversible), so creating temporary crowns and bridges are things that you can take over for the Dentist you are working with and they can move on to help other patients while you are doing that! If this sounds interesting to you, you should look into becoming a Dental Assistant. MedQuest College has a Dental Assisting program that teaches its assistants to work in the specialty clinics and all dental offices in as few as 6-7 months total. Click here to start your journey as an Oral Surgeon Dental Assistant!