Strengthen or Replace Teeth with Dental Crowns
A broken, decayed, or missing tooth can make eating, speaking, or smiling more challenging. For some, these oral health issues also affect self-confidence. A custom dental crown can repair the health and aesthetics of a damaged tooth by covering the visible surface of a tooth. It can effectively address both restorative and cosmetic issues, including moderate decay, cracks or fractures, and dental discoloration.
At his Sterling, VA, practice, Dr. E. Richard Hughes offers dental crowns in a variety of durable, natural-looking materials to meet the budgetary needs, cosmetic goals, and dental states of our patients. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal oral health and a beautiful, cohesive smile.
What Is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown, also known as a cap, covers the entire exposed surface of a tooth above the gum line. Made from porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), or zirconia, these restorations sit directly on top of a tooth, both concealing and protecting it. Every crown is designed to look as natural as possible while enhancing the look and function of your smile.
When Is a Dental Crown Needed?
One of the reasons dental crowns are so widely used is their versatility. They are most often used to:
- Repair teeth that are too decayed or damaged for a dental filling, inlay, or onlay
- Strengthen teeth that have cracked or fractured as a result of oral trauma
- Protect a tooth after it has undergone root canal therapy to eliminate dental infection
- Replace a missing tooth as part of a dental implant or bridge
Their use is not strictly restorative, though. Dental crowns are also used to conceal cosmetic concerns such as unevenly shaped or severely discolored teeth.
High-Quality Crowns & Bridges
Dr. Hughes discusses the role that dental crowns and bridges play in restorative treatment. By using high-quality materials like porcelain and zirconia, he can provide seamless treatment. Dr. Hughes offers both traditional and implant-supported crowns and bridges.
The Treatment Process
The dental crown process usually involves two office visits: one for taking impressions and one for placing the final crown. The visits are typically separated by few weeks, during which time the crown is fabricated at a trusted laboratory.
During your first appointment, Dr. Hughes can examine the condition of your smile and determine whether a dental crown is right for you. After gently scraping away all areas of decay or damage, he can reshape the tooth and remove a small amount of enamel to create adequate space for the crown. Once the tooth is fully prepared, Dr. Hughes can take impressions of your smile.
A dental crown is a popular, durable dental treatment that offers comprehensive benefits...
These impressions are sent to a trusted dental laboratory, along with specifications regarding material and shade. We offer crowns in a variety of materials to meet our patients' varying needs. It can take about two weeks for the lab to fabricate your custom crown, so Dr. Hughes often places a temporary crown to protect the tooth in the interim. When your permanent restoration is ready, you can return to our office to have it placed.
During your second visit, Dr. Hughes can remove the temporary crown and check your final restoration for proper fit and color. If no adjustments are needed, Dr. Hughes can cement your crown in place and polish your teeth, providing you with a new and enhanced smile.
While the process for receiving a traditional crown typically spans a few weeks, the process of receiving an implant-supported crown can be much longer. First, the titanium implant post must be placed during implant surgery. Once you are fully healed after approximately three months, you can receive your permanent restoration.
During dental implant surgery, a small hole is created in the jaw, into which the metal post that will anchor your restoration is inserted.
Implant-supported crowns are a great alternative to traditional dental bridges because they allow Dr. Hughes to replace teeth without modifying your surrounding teeth to create room for a bridge.
As a highly trained implant dentist and a Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Prosthodontics, Dr. Hughes can provide implant-supported crowns at his office with excellent results. He can perform every step of the process from start to finish, meaning you can receive treatment under one dentist instead of visiting multiple offices.
Benefits of Crowns
Dental crowns are a popular and reliable treatment option because they offer both cosmetic and functional benefits for patients, including:
- Protection: By protecting and repairing a damaged tooth, a dental crown acts as a seal around the tooth structure and protects it from additional damage. It can also prevent you from needing an extraction.
- Durability: Crowns are an extremely long-lasting restorative option. They are typically made of materials specially designed to stay strong when you eat or chew. With proper care, crowns can last up to a decade or more.
- Customizable: We offer crowns in a variety of durable, natural-looking materials and can help you choose which is right for you based on your dental needs, overall goals, and budget.
- Natural-Looking: Crowns are carefully crafted to match the shade and texture of your surrounding teeth, so you can enjoy a healthier smile without others noticing that you have had dental work.
With your dental crown in place, you can enjoy restored dental function and form.
Keep Your Crowns Looking Great
One of the greatest benefits of dental crowns is their longevity. They can last anywhere between five to 15 years when properly cared for. You play an active role in maintaining your crowns. It is important to refrain from habits such as grinding your teeth, opening packages with your teeth, or chewing on your fingernails, which can cause early damage to your crowns. You should also visit Dr. Hughes every six months so that he can evaluate the condition of your crowns and address any early concerns.
Restore the Look and Feel of Your Smile
Do not let a damaged or infected tooth continue to affect your smile and self-confidence. A dental crown is a popular, durable, and highly aesthetic dental treatment that offers comprehensive benefits for patients. If you want to learn more about the benefits of dental crowns, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hughes. You can call our office at (703) 444-1152 or request an appointment online.