There are several reasons a dental crown may be recommended for one or more teeth. Dental crowns can strengthen a tooth as well as change the size, shape, strength and colour of a tooth. Listed below are the primary reasons why dental crowns are used.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown may also be referred to as a dental cap. It is a permanent artificial tooth with a hollow interior that is placed atop your natural tooth. The natural tooth will need to be prepared or have its shape reduced to allow the dental crown to be accommodated on top of the natural tooth.
Dental crowns are made of resin, porcelain, metals, and ceramics. Your dentist will discuss the material to be used before the dental crown is placed to suit your smile’s appearance and function.
With proper care, a dental crown can last between five to fifteen years. In some cases, even longer.
When a tooth has an infection, it means that some form of bacteria has entered the tooth’s root, which houses the nerve and blood supply. The infection shows up at the base of the tooth’s root. Symptoms include pain, swelling and a draining pimple on the gums. Root canal treatment is necessary when a tooth has an infection at its root.
The root canal procedure involves the removal of the infected nerve and placing special material into the root. After root canal treatment is completed, the tooth is weakened and requires a dental crown to be placed on top to help prevent it from breaking in the future.
To Replace Large Fillings
When a large filling starts to break down by either cracking or developing a cavity adjacent to it, a dental crown may be recommended as the best treatment option to add stability to that tooth and prevent future breaking. Teeth with multiple dental fillings that make up a large portion of the tooth are much weaker and may be susceptible to breaking due to biting forces. Back teeth, which are subject to biting and grinding forces while eating, benefit from dental crowns the most when they become weak due to a high number of dental fillings.
To Complete Other Dental Procedures
Dental procedures such as having a dental implant placed or a dental bridge will require a dental crown to be used. Once a dental implant is placed, the dental crown is affixed to the top of the implant to restore your smile and eating function. Dental crowns are also used for dental bridges after the teeth are modified to accommodate the dental bridge.
Tooth Chips & Tooth Fractures
When a large portion of a tooth is lost due to a chip or fracture, a dental crown will be recommended to strengthen the tooth’s overall structure. Fractures make a tooth weak by compromising the tooth’s structure. Fractures lead to future breakage. Large tooth chips are difficult to fix with fillings. Therefore, they may require a dental crown. It’s vital to let your dentist know of tooth chips or fractures early because ignoring the issue can lead to further damage to the tooth.
Dental crowns can also provide an aesthetic or cosmetic benefit. They can alter a tooth’s size, shape and colour and therefore are a good option for front teeth. They are used for front teeth that are discoloured (such as with hypoplastic enamel) and teeth that are misshaped (such as with peg-shaped teeth.) Dental crowns can also be used to close or fill in small gaps between teeth in some cases.
If you believe you would benefit from a dental crown or have questions about them, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.