How a General Dentistry Uses Dental Crowns

How a General Dentistry Uses Dental Crowns from Brighter Smile Family Dentistry & Orthodontics in Sterling, VAThere are several treatments used in general dentistry to treat a tooth that has undergone severe damage. A dental crown is one of the most common of those treatments.

How are dental crowns used in general dentistry?

Another name for a dental crown is a cap, perhaps because it fits over the top of a severely decayed or damaged tooth. Crowns are shaped like teeth and made of sturdy material that stands up to pressure from chewing. Examples of materials used for crowns include ceramics, which are tooth-colored, and metal, which is not.

There are several ways that a dentist may use crowns in treating patients.

Supporting a damaged tooth

A tooth may have had extensive decay in the past requiring a large filling that removed a great deal of the tooth's material. This may have undermined the tooth's structural integrity. The tooth may have more decay, but there may not be enough natural material to support another filling. In a scenario like this, a dental crown can support the damaged tooth and restore it to its original function.

Restoring a broken tooth

Trauma to a tooth can cause it to fracture. This may happen acutely, due to a blow to the mouth or trying to bite down on something that is too hard. Cracks in the tooth can cause parts of it to break off. Teeth can also wear down over time. In either case, a crown can help make the tooth whole again by restoring the damaged portion.

Strengthening a weakened tooth

Extensive tooth decay can cause a tooth to become weak and unstable. It could be in danger of breaking because it is no longer able to stand up to the stress of chewing. A dental crown can strengthen the tooth so that it can perform its intended function.

Keep in mind that crowns are only designed to stand up to the normal stresses that teeth have to endure. Chewing on hard objects or using teeth as a cutting tool can damage crowns just like with natural teeth.

What is involved in placing a crown?

A crown protects not only the part of the tooth that is visible in the mouth but also the roots that are hidden. It is intended to prevent further damage or decay that could adversely affect the parts of the teeth both above and below the gum line. For a crown to be able to fit over the tooth and not crowd the surrounding teeth, the tooth to be treated has to be prepared. The dentist uses a drill to remove material from the visible portion of the tooth until the crown fits over it. The area is numbed prior to the procedure so the patient does not feel any pain.

The dentist typically takes impressions of the teeth, top and bottom, and sends them to a lab that produces crowns that fit precisely in the mouth and look just like the original teeth. This process may take several weeks. To protect the teeth in the interim, the dentist crafts temporary crowns for the patient to wear.

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General dentistry uses crowns to protect and strengthen teeth that are weak or damaged.

Request an appointment or call Brighter Smile Family Dentistry & Orthodontics at 703-994-4044 for an appointment in our Sterling office.

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