FAQs on Dental Crowns
Washington DC & Bethesda – Chevy Chase

What exactly is a dental crown?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or to improve its appearance. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

In what situations are dental crowns needed?

Dental crowns are beneficial in a wide variety of situations. These situations include preventing decay of weak teeth, holding pieces of cracked teeth together, supporting teeth with a large filling when there isn’t much tooth structure left, covering misshapen teeth, or restoring teeth that have been worn down.

How long will my dental crowns last?

While no one can guarantee the duration of a dental crown, various studies have indicated that the average crown lasts 5-10 years. Our experience has been that a vast majority of our crowns have lasted at least thirty years. If diligence and care are provided during the fabrication of your crowns, you can obtain a more predictable, long term result.

What happens when a dental crown is designed incorrectly?

When a crown is designed incorrectly, not only does it look unsightly, but it does not function properly. Incorrect design can irritate and damage the gum tissue as well as the surrounding bone, if it has not be adequately sculpted,. Ultimately, the porcelain can, also, fracture.

Does a crowned tooth require special care?

While dental crowns are designed specifically to function and appear natural, and therefore not need special care, it is important to care for the tooth properly as it is still vulnerable to decay and gum disease. Be sure to continue good oral hygiene practices.

What can I expect during my visit to receive dental crowns?

Fabricating a crown requires approximately two visits to our Washington DC dental office. Initially, we will remove decay, shape the tooth, take an impression, fit it with a temporary acrylic crown, and take an impression for the final crown.

On the subsequent visit, we will remove the temporary crown, custom fit and adjust the final crown and then final cement it.

What is a post?

When researching dental crowns you may come across the term ‘post’ and this is placed in a tooth treated with a root canal and acts as a ‘frame’ for the crown. The post can be crafted from plastic or metal and supports the crown. All root canal teeth should have a post and core restoration, followed by a crown, because they are more brittle, once the nerve (and blood vessels) in the canals have died.

Is there an alternative to a dental crown?

Large fillings are an option for those who wish to forego dental crowns, however there is a risk with using a filling, if it is too large. It can actually fracture which would result in another treatment, such as root canal therapy.

Will my dental crown be noticeable?

If the porcelain is fabricated such that the colorations are developed inside the crown rather than with surface stains, and if the right amount of translucency is used, the tooth will look natural. Many of our patients say that even their closest friends cannot tell that they have new crowns. The professionals of PDWDC are experts at matching prosthetics to the smile’s natural teeth. We will make the dental crowns appear as natural as possible to lessen noticeability.