Dentist Seattle: Dental Crowns
When a tooth is damaged by severe decay or facial trauma, it may lose much of its strength and become unable to withstand the normal forces of biting and chewing. A filling with composite resin is adequate to fill a small hole left by a cavity; however, when the damage is more extensive, or when the tooth has a crack, then the usual filling material won’t be able to repair the tooth well enough to allow it to function normally.
What is a dental crown?
A dentist in Seattle can use a crown, sometimes known as a “cap,” to strengthen and repair a broken or damaged tooth. The crown is made of durable materials, such as porcelain or metal (or a combination of both). It fits around the tooth, covering all surfaces. A crown can also be used as an artificial tooth, on top of a dental implant (a small titanium post implanted into the jaw bone).
If the tooth is too damaged for a regular filling, but doesn’t require a full crown, then an inlay or onlay may be used. Much like a crown, these are made of durable materials such as porcelain or metal. An onlay covers one or more cusps of a tooth (the bumps on the top of the tooth), while an inlay is between the cusps. These function much like partial crowns to restore the tooth to function with enough strength to be durable during normal use.
What is the process for getting a crown?
Getting a crown involves a two-step process. (A very similar process is used for an onlay or inlay.) During the first visit to your dentist in Seattle, the tooth is prepared to receive the crown. This generally involves removing some of the remaining structure of the tooth, in order to create enough space for the crown to fit well between the other teeth. After the preparation, an impression is made of the tooth and its surroundings using soft dental clay, which you gently bite into to make a mold of your mouth. A temporary crown, usually made of acrylic, is then placed, so your smile will be relatively aesthetic and functional while you wait for your permanent crown.
Your dentist in Seattle sends the impression to a dental laboratory, where the crown is custom-manufactured for the most precise fit. At your second visit to our office, the fit of the crown is checked. If necessary, adjustments can be made in the laboratory. When it’s ready, the crown is permanently cemented into place.
Do you need a dentist in Seattle?
If you need restorative dental work, such as crowns, inlays, or onlays, then you’re probably looking for a top-quality dentist in Seattle to take care of your teeth. Dr. Mark Caggiano of Seattle’s Best Smiles is ready to meet you. Not only is he highly proficient at the technical aspects of dentistry; he also offers sedation dentistry in Seattle, which can help you to relax if you feel anxious when you have dental work done. Getting a crown could be a much more pleasant experience with sedation dentistry. Please call our office to book your appointment with Dr. Caggiano.