Dental Crowns: Restoring Form, Function, and Aesthetics

Dental crowns resting on a black surface. If you have suffered extensive tooth decay or trauma, dental crowns can help restore your smile's functionally and aesthetics. Depending on the extent and severity of the damage, Dr. Neil L. Starr might recommend a dental crown at his Washington, D.C., office. This procedure allows him to restore the integrity of the damaged tooth, as well as improve the look of your smile. To learn more about how a dental crown can benefit you, contact us today to schedule your evaluation.

What is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped prosthetic that is placed over a tooth that has been severely damaged as a result of decay or trauma. The crown can be made from various materials, including gold, porcelain, resin, ceramic or sometimes a combination of a few metals.

Once the damaged or decayed portion has been removed, and any underlying dental concerns have been addressed, the crown can be placed. This type of restoration can help protect the tooth, while also providing a more natural appearance to your smile. A crown may also be used to cover a dental implant, hold a dental bridge in place, or cover and support a tooth that has a large filling.

Dental Crown Procedure

Receiving a dental crown usually involves two visits to our office, over the course of two to three weeks. During your first appointment, we will anesthetize the treatment site, and then prepare your tooth for placement of the crown. This involves gently filing the top and sides of the tooth to make room for the dental crown. If a large portion of the tooth is removed as a result of decay, Dr. Starr may first place a filling to help add strength to the tooth. Once the tooth has been reshaped, an impression will be taken, and this mold will be used to create your permanent crown.

A dental crown not only restores the form and function of your teeth, but it can also have a positive impact on your overall oral health.

A temporary crown will be placed during your first appointment, so that your tooth is protected as you wait for your permanent crown to be fabricated. Using the impression, your unique restoration will be created at our laboratory. It usually takes one to two weeks for the permanent crown to be completed.    

Once the permanent crown has been fabricated, you will return to our office for your second appointment. During this visit, your temporary restoration will be removed, and then replaced with the permanent crown. Using a strong adhesive, the crown will be securely placed over your remaining tooth. We will polish the crown until your restoration is a good fit, and your bite is well-aligned. 

Dental Implant Option

If the tooth is so badly damaged that it cannot support a crown, Dr. Starr may recommend a dental implant before proceeding with the placement of your crown. This restorative procedure involves extracting the damaged tooth and surgically inserting a titanium post into the jaw in its place. Once the implant has securely fused with the bone, the crown can be placed. Although this process requires more time, including time for the implant to fuse and heal, it results in a more stable "root" for the crown.

Benefits of a Dental Crown

In addition to restoring the form and function of your tooth, a dental crown can:

  • Help protect the tooth from further complications or injury
  • Restore the natural balance and symmetry of your smile
  • Alleviate discomfort such as toothaches, sensitivity, and inflammation
  • Create a whiter, straighter smile

Dental crowns have the added benefit of being durable and stain-resistant. However, they still require proper care and maintenance, including daily brushing and flossing, and regular trips to the dentist. 

A healthy, balanced diet that consists of little to no acidic, sugary, sticky, or carbohydrate-heavy foods may also help extend the life of crowns and surrounding teeth. 

Contact Us Today

A dental crown not only restores the form and function of the teeth, but it can also have a positive impact on overall oral health. To learn more about the costs and benefits of crowns, schedule a consultation today.