Going through a dental treatment is not easy. You need to take special care of your teeth until the procedure is complete and your teeth are fully recovered. This often includes limiting your diet to soft, room-temperature foods.

So, if your dentist has recommended you get a dental crown, you must be concerned about the time it takes. Worry not because we’re here to help!

In today’s post, we will discuss the question – how long does a dental crown take? – in great detail. We will also talk about the types of dental crowns, what happens during the procedure, and much more. Let’s dive in!

Dental Crown: An Overview

A dental crown is an artificial tooth cover. It is shaped and sized exactly like your tooth so that the chewing experience remains the same. You won’t have to make any changes in your eating habits.

But the dental crown may stand out from the rest of the teeth if it’s not color-matched. To ensure the same color, dentists often recommend ceramic, resin, or porcelain crowns. You can learn more about dental crown material types here:

When Do You Need a Dental Crown?

Usually, a dentist recommends a dental crown to treat a cavity that is too large to be filled. This happens when you didn’t notice the decaying before or intentionally ignored it.

Once bacteria attacks a tooth, it doesn’t stop by itself. No matter how much you brush or start taking care of the tooth – the bacteria will continue progressing until it has reached the pulp. So, you should consult a dentist immediately.

If you ignore it, the cavity will become too big to be treated by filling. Your dentist will have to perform root canal therapy, which involves the removal and reshaping of the decayed tooth to install the dental crown.

This artificial cover will protect your natural tooth from further damage while offering you the same chewing experience. Similarly, here are some other times when you may need a dental crown:

1. Dental Implant 

When a tooth is lost due to decay or physical trauma, a dental implant is necessary. It involves the insertion of a titanium post into your jawbone as a replacement for the root. Then, it is covered with a dental crown.

2. Dental Bridge

A dental bridge is a large-scale version of a dental implant. When you lose multiple teeth, a dental bridge is performed to restore the functionality and aesthetics of your mouth. In this procedure, many artificial teeth are anchored to natural teeth or dental implants.

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3. Aesthetics 

Some people get a dental crown to improve the looks of their smile. The crown helps cover up any chipped corners and cracks on the tooth’s surface. It also hides any heavily discolored or stained teeth.

What Happens During the Dental Crown Procedure?

What Happens During the Dental Crown Procedure

Once you’ve consulted the dentist, your dental crown treatment will be divided into two or more visits. The exact number will depend on how your dentist wants to proceed with your particular case.

Typically, the dental crown treatment will only comprise two appointments. Here’s what you should expect:

First Visit (Est. Time: 50 to 90 mins)

Your dentist will begin the treatment by preparing the tooth. If it’s decayed, the dentist will remove the specific decayed parts and clean up the area. Then, he’ll examine it to see how the crown will fit in.

If the weak tooth doesn’t have a regular shape or it’s too weak, he will use filling to reshape and strengthen it. In this case, you will be prescribed to take rest so that the filling can set in. The other steps will be done in the next appointment.

However, if no pretreatment is needed, the dentist will remove some of the tooth enamel to create space for the crown. Your prepared tooth will look something like this:

prepared tooth
Image Credit: beliveaudental

Next, the dentist will take your tooth impression on a putty-like material. He will ask you to bite the material and press it between your teeth for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, he’ll take it out and send it to the dental technician – the expert who will create your dental crown.

Alternatively, the dentist may use a digital handheld scanner to take detailed scans of the prepared tooth. Your first appointment will be finished after this.

Please note that some dentists may place a temporary resin crown. This helps protect weakened teeth structures while the permanent crown is being made. But if the tooth is strong enough, no temporary crowns will be required.

Second Visit (Est. Time: 30 to 45 mins)

Permanent crowns take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks to be made. Sometimes, the dentist may receive it in a week but not earlier than that. Your second appointment will be scheduled according to when the custom crown is available.

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Once at the dental lab, the dentist will remove the temporary crown (if installed) and clean up the prepared tooth. Then, he will compare the permanent crown’s color and shape to your surrounding teeth.

If all is well, he will go ahead and glue it in place using a powerful dental cement. Otherwise, he will make a few minor adjustments to the tooth shape and then fit it.

What Factors Affect the Duration?

What Factors Affect the Duration

On average, the complete dental crown procedure takes around 80 to 135 minutes. However since this period is split into two or more appointments, the treatment can take weeks to be completed.

Here are some factors that further affect the duration:

1. Complexity of the Case

In most cases, the patient needs the dental crown because of a root canal, dental bridge, or implant. All of these restoration types are complex procedures that require a couple of appointments to be done.

So, if your dentist recommended a tooth-shaped cap as part of these treatments, you should expect an addition of more weeks to your procedure. For example, a dental crown with a root canal will take at least 4 appointments.

You should add in more time if your oral health is worse and multiple teeth need to be treated.

2. Fabrication Time

Previously, we mentioned – that a dental technician will require a couple of weeks to create the custom dental crown. This time was for traditional crowns that most dentists use.

However, modern CAD/CAM technology now allows dentists to produce same-day crowns. They will first use a digital scanner to take your tooth impressions and then analyze the digital images on the software.

If all looks good, they will forward the scans to the on-site milling machine. This machine will craft your dental crown from a ceramic or composite resin block while you wait. So, you can get everything done in a single appointment!

But, bear in mind that only specialized dentists offer this service. They may also charge higher fees than average dental crown costs.

3. Patient’s Cooperation

Dentist appointments are always scheduled for a specific time slot. If you miss this slot or arrive late, the dentist might start another patient’s procedure. This can affect the time taken for your dental crown process.

Alternatively, if you don’t follow the dentist’s instructions and constantly move during the procedure, the overall time can increase. Patients need to cooperate with the professionals if they want a smooth and swift experience.

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4. Dentist’s Experience

The dentist’s experience also affects the time taken for dental crown procedures. A fresh, newly-graduated dentist with little experience will take much more time than an experienced one.

He’ll be less efficient and more likely to make mistakes. This is why you should always opt for only well-established and reputable dentists for complex dental treatments.


How long does it take to put a crown on a tooth

1. How long does it take to put a crown on a tooth?

The crown placement takes anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. It all depends on whether the new crown is an exact fit for the tooth’s shape or not. If it is a perfect fit, the dentist will just clean the tooth and place the crown.

But if the crown is a little big or small, the dentist will reshape the tooth and make adjustments that can take some time.

2. Does a crown take longer than a filling?

Yes, dental crown placement takes longer than a filling because it is a more complex procedure. Your treatment will be divided into 2+ appointments instead of just one.

3. Do you need anesthesia for a crown?

Yes, the dentist will give you local anesthesia for a dental crown. This will numb your gum tissue and prevent discomfort when the dentist removes enamel.

So, How Long Does a Dental Crown Take?

The dental crown takes 50 to 90 minutes for tooth preparation and 30 to 45 minutes for crown placement. Altogether, it should be completed in 1 to 3 hours.

But this is hardly the case because most cases require reshaping and filling of the tooth. This means the prepared tooth needs time to be set before crown placement. Your dentist will split the procedure into at least 2 appointments for this purpose.

So, a more realistic answer to this question is 2 to 3 weeks. You can get an even more accurate estimate by considering the factors discussed above. Good luck!

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