Dental crowns are one of the top services provided by dentists. The need for a dental crown can crop up in many different types of situations, and one may be recommended by several different sorts of dental specialists to correct a problem or finish a multistep procedure.
Dr. Margaret Culotta-Norton and Dr. Peter Grinc in Washington, DC, provide dental crowns to stabilize and restore functionality to your smile.
What dental crowns are made of
One of the most popular restorative dental procedures is the simple, single dental crown. This is a kind of a cap, which fits over the damaged tooth and creates a chewing surface identical to your natural tooth.
Originally, many crowns were made of precious metals. Later, it became common to use porcelain fused to metal for a more natural appearance. Today, most dental crowns are made of Porcelain that at looks, feels, and functions just like your regular teeth.
Common reasons for dental crowns
There are several reasons your dentist may recommend a dental crown:
A tooth that has a chipped or cracked surface
If one of your teeth has a chip, crack, is fractured or is heavily decayed, a crown can be professionally fabricated in a laboratory to cap or completely cover the tooth and prevent further damage or infection. Your dentist will gently clean and shape the exposed edge of the tooth, take a mold, and have a crown fabricated. On your next visit, they permanently adhere the crown to the tooth and adjust it so your bite is even.
A tooth damaged by decay or broken off above the gumline
If your tooth has broken an entire section off, or has a decayed spot too large for a filling to handle, we’ll likewise fabricate a crown to cover the top of the tooth. We first buildup the damaged part of the interior of the tooth with a composite filling material to prevent infection and sensitivity. An impression is taken and sent to a dental lab where a permanent crown is fabricated. A temporary crown will be made for you to cover the tooth while the permanent is being made. After a few weeks we affix the crown permanently in place.
A tooth that has had a root canal
A root canal requires removing the top of the tooth and all of the pulp, replacing it with a sterile material so you won’t feel nerve pain. Just as with other applications, the crown is fabricated to fit perfectly and acts as a permanent cap to restore your tooth.
A tooth replaced by a dental implant
If you have lost a tooth, a dental implant is a complete and permanent solution. A titanium post is placed into your jawbone to replace the root. After several months, we restore the implant fixture with an abutment and crown which completes the restoration for a permanent tooth replacement. This procedures takes several months to complete, however it is very predictable and an excellent tooth replacement.
What to expect
When you arrive for a crown, we’ll first do any work to clean out a cavity or smooth rough edges from a chip or break. If we did a root canal, we’ll make sure there’s no infection, and if we placed an implant, we’ll check to see if it is ready for a crown.
We’ll take molds of your tooth to ensure the fabrication will fit. We may put a temporary cap on to protect your tooth. After about two weeks, you’ll come back, and we’ll cement the crown in place.
To learn more about crowns, call Dr. Culotta-Norton or Dr. Grinc at 202-833-1111, or visit the contact page for more information.