The dentists of the Dulles Dental Group offer cosmetic and restorative services, including dental crowns, to the residents of Centerville, Virginia.
Crowns Q & A
What’s a Dental Crown?
A crown is essentially a prosthetic tooth. It is used to cover a badly broken or decayed tooth when a simple filling doesn't fix the problem. Using a filling instead of a crown may also leave the tooth susceptible to breakage. Patients need a temporary crown while the dentist makes the permanent prosthesis (or sends it to a dental lab). Crowns may be made of porcelain, or a resin composite can look almost exactly like their own teeth.
How Does a Crown Work?
The natural teeth consist of a strong root to hold the tooth in the jawbone and the tooth itself. The crown replaces the top part of the tooth; exactly how much it replaces will depend on the amount of damage or decay. Crowns are sometimes used when a tooth is badly discolored or after a root canal treatment. A crown is just like normal teeth in almost all respects, and a well-made crown will last many years.
What Are Crowns Made of?
Crowns can be made from several different materials. Gold and metal alloys have been in use for a long time. Metal alloys may be the first choice for back teeth because of their strength. In some cases, a metal shell is bonded to the alloy to make it less noticeable. Porcelain/ceramic crowns and resin composites are often preferred for teeth that are easily visible, as they can be color-matched to their existing teeth.
Does a Crown Need Special Care?
A crown functions like natural teeth. Patients need to continue to practice good oral hygiene: Floss daily and brush twice daily. See the dentist for regular cleaning and checkups. Over time, a crown can become worn and may need to be strengthened or replaced. Like a natural tooth, a crown can break if patients chew ice or hard candies, or try to use their teeth as tools.