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Shadle Smiles General Dentistry

When a tooth has sustained damage that compromises its strength and function, your dentist may recommend that a dental crown be placed on it. The dental crown is also known as a cap. It is a dental prosthesis that covers the entire part of the tooth that can be seen above the gumline. The dental crown is a general dentistry treatment used to restore not only the appearance of a healthy tooth, but also the tooth’s strength and stability.

Dental crowns are used on teeth that have been damaged, broken or cracked. They are also used on teeth that have large fillings or those that have undergone root canal therapy. The dental crown looks like a natural tooth and can be made from various materials. Generally, they are made from ceramic and plastic composites, porcelain or porcelain fused to metal. Some crowns are also made from gold or stainless steel.

Teeth, particularly molars, undergo tremendous amounts of pressure with every bite. If a tooth has been compromised due to damage or decay, it can become weak and break, even under normal conditions. The dental crown prevents this from happening. By covering the entire tooth above the gum line, the dental crown restores the strength and stability of the tooth. It allows the pressure exerted on the tooth to be distributed over the entire surface rather than just a small part of it.

Restore Cracked or Damaged Teeth

A cracked tooth is susceptible to decay and further damage if not repaired quickly. Bacteria can hide within the crack and start the process which leads to decay. Additionally, pressure exerted while chewing may widen the crack, break the tooth or cause irreparable damage. Covering a cracked tooth with a dental crown will restore the full function of the tooth and protect it from further damage.

Dental Inlays and Onlays

Some teeth may have a large cavity or damage which does not require a full crown in order to provide protection. In these instances, an inlay or onlay may be recommended. These partial crowns are used in the same way a dental crown is used. An inlay is used on the biting surface of a tooth, usually a molar with a large cavity that does not involve the sides of the tooth. If a cusp or side is involved, an onlay may be used.

It is always best to have cracked or damaged teeth repaired as soon as possible. If you have a tooth that needs attention, contact Shadle Smiles. Consult with our dentist to get information on the best way to protect your tooth from further problems.

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Spokane, WA 99205


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