The process of switching out my old silver fillings for new white ones resulted in me having to get 6 Crowns… and 3 Root Canals.
I’m not complaining. I’m just saying this is how it went for me. (I’ll explain why in a minute.)
At this point, I’ve got a lot of firsthand experience to share about what it’s like to get things like Fillings, Crowns, and Root Canals.
So here’s the next part in the process after I switched out all of my silver fillings for white ones.
Here’s what it’s like to get a tooth Crown…
Reasons A Tooth Crown May Be Necessary
I needed Crowns on 6 of my teeth due to deep cracks and the fact that very little of my tooth was left after drilling to replace silver Fillings with white ones.
According to WebMD, a dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
- To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To cover misshaped or severely discolored teeth
- To cover a dental implant
Getting A Crown Is Similar To Getting A Filling
This was the first time I’d ever had anything other than a Filling done to my teeth.
I was mildly nervous, but I’m here to say… getting a tooth Crown is really no big deal.
The procedure for getting a Crown is pretty much the same as with getting a Filling. The only difference is… after drilling out the tooth, you have to bite down on a mouth-guard type thing that’s filled with a gooey gel that hardens inside your mouth.
That is used to create your temporary Crown (which is affixed with temporary cement) until your permanent porcelain Crown arrives from “the tooth factory”. That process typically takes 3 to 4 weeks.
Here’s what the entire procedure is like from start to finish:
About Those Temporary Crowns
The temporary Crown feels like cheap plastic in your mouth and it has slightly rough edges, but it’s perfectly okay to eat with that tooth. And you can brush it just like normal.
Just don’t chew gum with that tooth, or crack popcorn kernels. Actually, they say you should refrain from eating anything hard, sticky or chewy on that side of your mouth while you have the temporary Crown on.
They also say that you shouldn’t floss around the temporary Crown, because you could lift it off accidentally. If you do though, it’s no big deal (…other than seeing the gaping hole in your mouth). Just head back to the dentist for some more temporary cement. The dentist gave me the impression that it’s okay to go around without even the temporary Crown on for a day or so, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
By the way, during my tooth Crown procedure, I asked the dental assistant for a mirror, so I could see what my tooth looked like prior to putting on the Crown. Trust me on this one… Don’t ever do that. You do not want that image of a semi-toothless you looking back at yourself in a mirror. That is a sight I’ll never get out of my head.
I’ve had a half a dozen or so Crowns at this point, and the biggest surprise to me is how those temporary Crowns do not even budge! I never had any issues with them popping off at home or anything. I’d say that’s probably a rare occurrence.
In fact, each of my temporary Crowns has been kind of difficult for the dentist and his assistants to actually get off. (Don’t worry, it’s not painful when they tug though.)
Here’s what to do if your temporary Crown comes off when you’re at home:
When Crowns Lead To Root Canals…
Unfortunately, within weeks (if not days) of initially having my silver Fillings replaced, I began to experience a slight tooth sensitivity (which I was willing to live with).
But when that became a full-out toothache, I went back to the dentist.
A Crown was required to replace most of the tooth that was bothering me. No biggie. Done. (It was a tooth that the dentist had tried to get away with just a Filling, but it turned out to need a Crown instead.)
Then, a couple weeks later, a different tooth started hurting.
I tried not to eat on that side of my mouth while I waited until my scheduled teeth cleaning just a week later. That’s when the dentist noticed a serious crack which led to an infection down at the root of that tooth.
I needed a Root Canal… on the spot!
Here’s what it’s like to get a Root Canal. (I’ve had 3 at this point.)