How Does a Dentist Remove a Crown?

Every day, dentists perform various treatments to help patients achieve healthy teeth and gums. Those procedures include fillings, root canals, and – of course – dental crowns. The result is a healthier patient with much more confidence.

What is a Dental Crown?

Unfortunately, teeth don’t stay perfect forever. Whether they get stained, cracked, loosened, or decayed, they will eventually need to be seen by a professional dentist. In some of these cases, dentists may recommend a dental crown.

A dental crown is a cap placed on a damaged tooth to protect and restore its shape, and they are usually necessary when a person either injures their tooth or experiences extreme tooth decay. Placing the crown on top stops further damage. Plus, they often restore confidence in patients – especially those experiencing tooth decay at the front of their mouths where the teeth are most visible.

Some people get confused between dental crowns and dental implants, but they are very different. While a dental crown goes on top of a tooth, an implant gets surgically implanted into the gums after the patient experiences tooth loss. 

Dental crowns are typically made out of:

  • Porcelain
  • Resin
  • Ceramics
  • Metals

The type of material used depends on several factors, such as a person’s individual goals, preferences, and allergies. For example, you might prefer a more natural crown type like pressed ceramic, or you may opt for a longer-lasting material like metal. When looked after properly, dental crowns can last up to twenty years.

The Reasons for Removing a Crown

While dental crowns are effective for restoring a tooth’s shape and protecting it from further decay, they sometimes need to be removed. There are several reasons why this might be necessary, including the following:

  • Wear and tear
  • Tooth decay
  • Pain
  • Cosmetic reasons
  • Age

In some cases, the patient may require additional treatment like a tooth extraction or root canal to fix to issue. In severe issues like bone loss, dentists may recommend bone grafting.

Most of the time, though, you can expect your dentist to simply replace the old one when working on your teeth. 

How Dentists Remove Crowns

If you need a crown removal, it’s understandable to ask the question, how does a dentist remove a crown? 

Luckily, removing a crown isn’t an extreme procedure. Below, you can find the steps dentists go through during this procedure.

Numb Gums

Dentists will first numb the gums when preparing to remove the crown. They do this to ensure the ultimate comfort of the patient.

Apply Adhesive

Next, the dentist will apply adhesive to the cement. Doing so weakens the cement, allowing it to come free quickly and easily. At this stage, the dentist physically removes the crown.

Clean Teeth

After removing the crown, the dentist will thoroughly clean the teeth of any bacteria, decay, or anything else that might be there.

Root Canal

Some patients require a root canal at this stage (but not all). Your dentist will, of course, tell you beforehand whether this is necessary.

A New Impression

Now that the old crown is out, dentists need to make a new one (note: dentists can reuse old crowns in certain circumstances, but not always).

To replace an old crown, dentists will take a new impression of the tooth using putty or paste. Dentists will send this to the lab.

A Temporary Fitted Crown

The dentist will fit a temporary crown to protect your tooth during the waiting period. After this is fitted, you will have to wait for your next appointment for the next stage of crown replacement. Don’t worry – it is worth the wait.

The Placement of the New Permanent Crown

At your next appointment, the dentist will use local anesthetic once more to place your new crown on your tooth. Once fitted, you are free to go. You can expect the numbing to last the rest of the day, and the dentist may advise you to avoid certain foods for a couple of days until the new crown fully sets.

Potential Problems with Dental Crowns

Most crowns last many years without causing the patient any issues. However, some cases might require extra attention, if you experience any of the following after a crown replacement, schedule an appointment with your dentist.


It’s normal to experience some sensitivity after removing and replacing a crown. If it is prolonged, however, you should use sensitive toothpaste and see your dentist if it’s severe.

Crown Falling Out

The chances are your crown will not fall out, but it can happen! Usually, it happens because it wasn’t fitted properly, or insufficient cement was used.

If you experience a crown falling out, you must visit your dentist as soon as possible for a replacement.

An Allergic Reaction

An allergic reaction to a dental crown is very rare. However, if you have an allergy to the material that you didn’t previously know about, you may experience allergies. If that happens, see your dentist as soon as possible.

A Loose Crown

An improper fitting may lead to a loose crown. That can cause serious issues, as bacteria can seep through the crown and cause an infection, leading to tooth decay. So, if you notice that your crown feels loose, go back to your dentist to get it tightened or get a new crown altogether.

Looking After a New Crown

Getting a crown removed isn’t as scary as you would think – neither is getting a new one put in. With your new crown, you can go about daily life without worrying about your tooth. Just make sure you keep up with dental hygiene, go to your routine appointments, and schedule an appointment if anything seems off with your crown.

At BAFdentistry, we provide a professional and personal dental service that ensures all patients leave with a happy and bright smile. So, whether you need a crown removed or you think you need one putting in, we are here to help.