When Might I Need a Crown?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that restores normal size, shape, strength, function, and appearance to a weak, worn, or otherwise damaged tooth. Simply put, a crown is often the best way to extend the life of an impaired tooth.  

Effective, durable, and versatile, crowns are the most common dental restoration in the United States — every year, millions of Americans receive crowns to resolve problematic teeth, restore their smile, and preserve their oral health.  

For your convenience, Quang Tran, DDS, and the team at Smiles in Springfield offer same-day dental crown restorations made with advanced CEREC® technology. Let’s explore the various tooth problems that a crown can correct, and how Dr. Tran can get the job done in a single visit.  

Dental crowns explained

A dental crown is a custom artificial tooth that’s designed to “cap,” or cover and protect, a tooth that has become too weak, eroded, or impaired to function properly. It’s also an effective cosmetic solution for teeth that are misshapen, misaligned, or permanently discolored.

Crowns can be made from a wide range of dental materials, including metal (platinum, gold, or nickel-chromium alloys) stainless steel, resin, ceramic (porcelain) fused to metal, and ceramic. Of these, ceramic is the closest match to your natural teeth in both appearance and durability.

Conventional crowns require two separate dental visits — one to prepare your tooth and take an impression to send to the dental lab, and another to fit the permanent crown to your tooth. You wear a temporary crown for up to two weeks while the lab creates your custom crown.

Dental crown solutions 

When you have a spot of decay on one of your teeth, removing it and restoring the resulting cavity with a dental filling is usually the best way to prevent advanced decay. 

By preserving the integrity of your tooth in the present, this basic dental treatment aims to keep your tooth vital — and help conserve your oral health — for life. 

Similarly, a crown works to save a tooth that isn’t as strong or healthy as it should be above the gumline but isn’t so damaged below the gumline that it needs to be extracted. A crown is often the best restorative solution for a tooth that:

A crown can give normal structure to a misshapen or worn tooth, reinforce a weak or broken tooth, or hide a stained tooth that can’t be corrected with traditional whitening techniques. 

A dental crown can also be used to restore full strength and functionality to a tooth that’s been saved from extraction by an extensive root canal procedure. And when a tooth does have to be pulled, a crown is used to cap off, or finish, the new dental implant

Same-day crown benefits

Custom-made crowns are designed to match your natural teeth flawlessly and last for years (if not decades) with good oral health care habits. 

Luckily, you no longer have to make two office visits and wait weeks to receive your crown — advanced dental technology has made it possible for Dr. Tran and his team to offer same-day ceramic crowns so you can complete the entire restoration in one visit. Here’s how it works: 

Step one

To prepare a problematic tooth for a crown, Dr. Tran removes any old restorations or decay, fills any cavities, and files it down.  

Step two

Next, Dr. Tran coats your prepared tooth with a tasteless, non-toxic powder and uses a special digital camera to take several high-resolution digital images of it.

Step three

Using special 3D imaging software, Dr. Tran converts the high-resolution optical impression of your tooth into a virtual 3D model on the computer. 

Then, he sends the highly detailed restoration “map” to an in-office crown milling machine. This machine has been preloaded with a small ceramic block that matches your natural teeth.   

Step four

It takes just 15 minutes for the milling machine to produce your crown. Once it’s ready, Dr. Tran polishes it, fits it to your tooth, makes any necessary adjustments, and cements it in place. 

To learn more about convenient same-day crown restorations at Smiles in Springfield or to schedule a visit with Dr. Tran, call 703-634-4239 to reach our Springfield, Virginia, office today. You can also send a message to Dr. Tran and the team here on our website.

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