A woman wearing glasses and red shirt smiling with dental crowns

Dental Crowns

Damaged, decayed, or missing teeth can cause pain and make it difficult to eat or speak. 

A dental crown can restore the function of your bite as well as improve your oral health. 

The dentists at Thornton Dental Associates, P.C. in Washington, DC, craft custom dental crowns for beautifully restored smiles.

What Is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is a restoration commonly used to cover a tooth following extensive trauma or decay. Crowns provide much-needed support to damaged or decayed teeth and can also be paired with dental implants to replace a lost tooth.

See How a Dental Crown Works

The natural tooth is reshaped to allow the dental crown to properly fit among your other teeth. The crown is then bonded to the tooth, restoring both function and appearance.

Crowns Can Also
Be Purely Cosmetic


Some patients are seeking cosmetic upgrades without necessarily needing restorative dentistry. A crown can be used to address a concern like discolored teeth that don't respond to teeth whitening. During your consultation, we can determine if a crown is the best way to achieve your aesthetic goals.

Restore Your Smile With a Dental Crown

A damaged or decayed tooth can be painful and even unsightly. A dental crown looks just like a natural tooth and can help restore the function, health, and appearance of your smile while preserving your tooth structure. 

Not sure if a dental crown is right for you? Request a consultation at our dental practice in DC by filling out our online form or by calling us today. 

(202) 293-5805

"I have been going to this practice for almost 20 years for cleanings and routine dental issues. It has always consistently been great. This year I had Dr. Van der Linden help me with some much needed “cosmetic” dentistry and the results were fantastic! Dr. VdL made the whole process from beginning to end easy and painless. He took such great care and showed such attention to detail with the veneers I got — he was like an artist! I could tell how much pride he took in his craft and how important it was to him to get it just right — exactly what you would dream of in a doctor doing this kind of work."
Daniel Vail

Traditional Crowns vs.
Implant-Supported Crowns
Which is right for me?

A traditional crown may be the best treatment if you have a:

  • Decayed tooth
  • Damaged tooth

An implant-supported crown may be right if you have a:

  • Missing tooth
  • Tooth requiring extraction

See How a Dental Implant Works

A dental implant paired with a dental crown is a great option for patients missing a single tooth. An implant post is surgically inserted into the jaw. After a period of healing, an abutment is attached to the dental implant. This allows your dentist to secure the dental crown to the implant, replacing the entire tooth structure.

We Use Premium Materials For Our Dental Crowns

Our Washington, DC, dentistry practice crafts dental crowns from zirconia. Zirconia crowns are at least three times stronger than porcelain crowns. Zirconia is also a great option for people with allergies or sensitivities to certain metals. With proper care and hygiene, zirconia will last much longer than porcelain. Like a porcelain crown, a zirconia crown will be matched to your teeth to give you a natural-looking appearance. 

In addition to their strength and longevity, zirconia crowns are often preferred for their high biocompatibility. A high level of biocompatibility is key because it means zirconia crowns should avoid adverse health effects that metal crowns and other alternatives could lead to. 

Choose Thornton
Dental Associates, P.C.
for Your Dental Crown

Our practice, like our highly experienced dentists, sets itself apart. We have a team of ten skilled coordinators, hygienists, and assistants. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is particularly noted for providing great assistance in navigating insurance issues. 

We have also taken action to provide premier sanitation by outfitting our Washington, DC, practice with high-vacuum air purifiers in all rooms to minimize the risk of infections. Contact us online or call us to request your initial consultation with elite dentists and a skilled staff in an immaculate environment. 

(202) 293-5805

Dental chair outlooking Washington D.C.

Washington, DC, Loves Our Team

"The greatest dental practice group in DC! Anissa is by far the best dental hygienist I have ever had - she is knowledgeable and takes the time to answer all of my questions - she has completely turned my dental care regime around for the better!  Dr. Van der Linden is an excellent dentist and a great addition to the group.  They offer top-notch technology and tools, great music and a clean and comfortable atmosphere.  The front desk staff is always friendly and helpful - I highly recommend this practice!" Jessica Gyllstrom

The Cost of Dental Crowns

Each case and the course of treatment is unique, therefore costs will vary based on patient need. In most cases, dental crowns are considered a restorative dentistry procedure, and most insurances will contribute to the costs. Our staff is extremely knowledgeable about insurance coverage, and we will work with you to file the necessary paperwork and make the most of your benefits.

It is important to remember that dental insurance does not cover cosmetic dentistry treatments, such as using a crown to improve the appearance of a tooth. Your dental health is important to us, so we offer flexible financing options and accept CareCredit® and several major credit cards to help with out-of-pocket costs.

Crowns and Bridges Are a Powerful Dental Combination

Dental crown and bridge against black background

If you are missing one or more teeth, our Washington, DC, practice can replace them with dental bridges anchored by our premium crowns. 

Our modern approach to this time-tested solution restores the form, function, and appearance of your smile. While dental implant-supported restorations offer the highest level of support and stability, candidacy is limited. If you need a dependable tooth replacement solution that looks natural and benefits your oral health, but you either do not want or do not qualify for dental implants, we can explore this option with you.

Find Out What Works for You

We can provide a single crown, multiple crowns, bridges, and more. Our team has the experience and skill to listen to your needs and discuss your choices. To find out which of our dentistry options is right for you, simply call (202) 293-5805 or write to our team today. 

Washington, DC, Recommends Us


Radmila Djuric

Washington, DC


Google logo

Doctors are amazing and the staff are so friendly. I will not go to different dentist again.

View on Google

Lisa Renee Heintz

Washington, DC


Google logo

Professional. Clean. Kind. Top of the line equipment. They are the best!

View on Google

We Are Committed to Your Comfort

Many patients struggle with dental anxiety that causes them to avoid treatments they need, like dental crowns. Others simply dislike the feeling of certain procedures, such as taking impressions of teeth in need of restorations. Our Washington, DC, team has taken several steps to alleviate anxiety and provide comfortable, effective treatment. For example, we use an iTero® digital scanner to capture dental impressions. This advanced digital technology makes precise 3D images of your bite without the need for uncomfortable dental putty. We also use local anesthesia to numb dental pain.

Please don't hesitate to let us know what we can do to make each and every visit comfortable for you.

The Dental Crown Process At Our Washington, DC, Dental Office

Our lifelike zirconia crowns are at least three times stronger than crowns made from porcelain.
Our lifelike zirconia crowns are at least three times stronger than crowns made from porcelain.

Consultation and Planning

Everyone has unique dental needs, and your dentist will perform an initial evaluation to determine the right treatment plan for you. Some patients may need a root canal before the dental crown is placed. If you are missing a tooth or require an extraction, a dental crown can be paired with a dental implant to prevent bone deterioration. In cases of extraction or implant placement, healing time will factor into the treatment timeline.

Taking Impressions

Impressions are taken to craft your custom crown. Our Washington, DC, dentists also color-match the material to ensure the permanent crown will resemble your natural teeth. Your impressions will be sent to a lab where skilled technicians will craft it. Turnaround times vary, but it will generally take about two weeks for your permanent crown to arrive.

Prepping the Tooth

Your dentist will reshape the tooth by removing a very small amount of enamel to allow the dental crown to fit properly. A temporary crown will be put in place to protect the exposed tooth while the permanent crown is made. This temporary crown will allow you to eat and speak normally while you wait on your permanent crown to come back from the lab.

Placing the Crown

When your permanent crown is completed, you will have an appointment at our office to place it. If you have been wearing a temporary crown, your dentist will remove the temporary crown to clean the underlying tooth. The permanent crown can be adjusted at this point to ensure comfort and a proper bite.

Request Your Crown Consultation

Now that you understand what crowns can do for you, and why so many people turn to our Washington, DC, team for restorations that are equally functional and natural-looking, we invite you to request your consultation. Call (202) 293-5805 or send us a message to book a time to meet with our dentists to discuss dental crowns.

"Highly recommend!" Why Washington, DC, Recommends Our Practice


Alison McQuade

Washington, DC


Google logo

What an awesome office. Staff was friendly and kind. Dr. Thornton put me right at ease and explained everything and answered all my questions. Highly recommend!

View on Google

Keith Cogdill

Washington, DC


Google logo

I'm a relatively new patient, and my experience has been outstanding. Last month an urgent situation popped up, but Dr. VanDerLinden was able to squeeze me in right away... and he was so thorough and kind. Highest recommendation!

View on Google

Alternatives to Dental Crowns

Smiling woman with veneer shades


For minor cosmetic issues such as cracks, chips, and discoloration, consider veneers. Veneers are thin porcelain shells used to restore the appearance of front teeth. However, they are not used on back teeth.

Chipped tooth in need of dental bonding

Dental Bonding

Like veneers, dental bonding is used for minor cosmetic concerns like cracks, chips, and stains. No alterations to the tooth are needed, making this a more conservative treatment than a veneer or crown. 

Inlay and model of tooth

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are often used to add strength to a damaged or decayed tooth. They are more conservative than a dental crown and can help preserve the tooth structure while alleviating pain.

Commonly Asked Questions

What is the difference between a crown and a cap?

Dental crowns used to be referred to as caps. However, most dentists today use the term “crown.” There is no difference between a cap and a crown. It is simply a matter of terminology.

Does getting a crown hurt?

Our Washington, DC, dentists will ensure that you are comfortable during your treatment. When the tooth is being reshaped, you will be thoroughly numbed using a local anesthetic. It is important to communicate with your dentist during and after treatment. If your crown is causing pain, or if you experience any sort of discomfort, please let your dentist know so he can make adjustments.

How long will my crown last? 

The typical lifespan of a dental crown is around 15 years. The zirconia crowns we offer are much stronger than typical porcelain options, making them more likely to last longer than the porcelain alternative. While a decade and a half is already a great return on your investment, you should know that crowns can last even longer with proper care. Our dentists will give you the best suggestions for taking care of your crown, which will include hygiene guidelines and eating tips. 

Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to just have a damaged tooth pulled?

It is important to remember that even a single missing tooth can cause the jawbone to recede and can cause other teeth to shift. This can create long-term issues that will require more extensive treatments later. If the tooth is strong enough, it is best to save it. A crown can protect what is left of the tooth, keep the tooth roots in place to prevent jawbone atrophy, and prevent the remaining healthy teeth from shifting.

Can you replace old or metal dental crowns?

Yes. The benefit of a zirconia crown over a metal crown is that it looks just like a natural tooth, whereas a metal crown is obvious. Our DC dentists can replace an old, worn, or metal crown with a natural-looking zirconia crown. They can also replace ill-fitting crowns to improve your comfort and oral function. 

Can a crown prevent decay?

A dental crown can help protect a tooth from further damage and decay. However, you must remain diligent in practicing proper hygiene, as decay can still occur under a dental crown and in other teeth. The tooth roots and gums are also still susceptible to bacteria. By properly brushing and flossing and maintaining regular dental exams and cleanings, you can help keep your smile healthy for years to come. 

More Great Reviews From Washington, DC

"This is an unusual and exceptional practice. Dr. Thornton and his entire staff are kind and intelligent, going out of their way to advocate for and advise patients. Before my first appointment, I was listened to and reassured by the staff member doing my telephone intake. When I arrived for my first appointment, Dr. Thornton listened calmly to my story and could not have been kinder or more reassuring. Thanks to my restored confidence in the art of dentistry, I have had several procedures at Dr. Thornton''s office since, all of which have been handled with professionalism, patience and kindness." AMY ART COHEN
Dr. Will Thornton and Dr. Nathan Van der Linden

Thornton Dental Associates, P.C.

The friendly team of professionals at Thornton Dental Associates, P.C. provides comprehensive dental care to patients throughout Washington, DC. Dr. Will Thornton and Dr. Nathan Van der Linden are affiliated with prestigious organizations, including the:

- American Dental Association
- District of Columbia Dental Society

To request an appointment at our Washington, DC, dental office,
contact us online or call (202) 293-5805.

Contact Us

Rate, Review & Explore

Social Accounts Sprite