5 Reasons You May Need a Dental Crown
The versatility of dental crowns allows them to treat many oral health issues.
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped dental restorations that fit over a natural tooth to protect and restore it. They can be made using a range of materials, from metal or gold to porcelain or ceramic, and each crown is custom-made to ensure that it fits perfectly and comfortably.
Crowns made of porcelain or ceramic are even tinted to match the shade of your natural teeth, allowing them to blend in beautifully with your smile. They’re also incredibly versatile, allowing dentists to use them to treat a wide range of dental issues. This is what makes them one of the most common restorative dentistry treatments available.
Despite how common they are, though, if you’ve never needed a dental crown, you might not know much about them. If you’re dealing with an oral health issue, you might find yourself wondering, “Do I need a dental crown or a filling?”
To help you figure out what treatment you might need or why your dentist has recommended a dental crown instead of a filling, we’ve broken down the 5 reasons you may need a dental crown.
1. Treating severe decay
Dental fillings are the most well-known treatment for cavities, but when your tooth has experienced severe decay that has resulted in a large cavity, a filling isn’t always enough. Large fillings can weaken teeth, leaving them more prone to dental injuries like cracking or breaking. This is why you can’t put off addressing a cavity—it’s incredibly important to treat it as soon as you know it’s there to prevent it from getting bigger and requiring a dental crown instead.
If you do end up with a severe cavity, however, a dental crown is often the best treatment available. When it’s placed over your tooth, a dental crown creates a seal around it to protect your tooth from bacteria. It’s a different way of sealing the injured area from future decay, but it works just as well as a filling—and in this case, it works even better because it also strengthens your tooth and holds it together to protect it from future injury.
2. Protecting your tooth after a root canal
When a cavity reaches the center of your tooth, which is where the nerves and blood vessels are, you need a procedure called a root canal to save your tooth. In addition to the fact that the cavity involved is normally quite large, a root canal involves cleaning out the center of your tooth, including the nerves and blood vessels.
While this is often the only way to save your tooth once decay reaches its center, the loss of the nutrients that your tooth’s blood vessels normally provide causes the tooth to become brittle and weak. Without a crown, it would be much more likely to crack and break in the future, leading to an emergency dental visit and potentially causing you to lose the tooth. Instead, placing a dental crown over it holds the tooth together, helps protect it from damage and decay, and gives it the strength to continue functioning normally.
3. Restoring a worn-down tooth
Several factors can wear your teeth down over time, from simple age or an uneven bite to habits like bruxism, which is when you clench or grind your teeth repeatedly throughout the day or night. If you’re doing this in your sleep, you might not even be aware of it, but it can do significant damage to your teeth, through an immediate injury like chipping or cracking, as well as doing damage over time by wearing your teeth down.
Worn-down teeth are prone to tooth sensitivity and more vulnerable to decay because of the thinner layer of enamel over them, and severely worn-down teeth may also make chewing difficult and make your teeth appear shorter than they originally were.
Getting a dental crown resolves these issues by protecting and restoring your tooth all at once. The barrier that the crown creates over your tooth helps minimize or even eliminate tooth sensitivity altogether, allowing it to function normally again, and the crown also restores the appearance of your tooth. Dr. Naik uses the best materials to create crowns that fit perfectly and look incredibly natural.
4. Mending a chipped, cracked, or broken tooth
Even when you do your best to take care of your teeth, accidents that cause dental injuries like a chip, crack, or break can still happen. When it does, a dental crown is often the key to restoring and protecting your tooth. Minor chips or cracks can often be repaired using dental bonding, but more serious injuries often need a stronger, more permanent solution that will also help protect the tooth from future injuries.
Dental crowns do just that! They help rebuild the appearance and function of your damaged tooth. Once the crown is in place and any soreness is gone, you’ll be able to go back to using the tooth like the injury never happened!
5. Repairing an old filling
If it’s time to replace an old filling and Dr. Naik suggests placing a crown on your tooth instead, you’re even more likely to be asking yourself, “Do I need a dental crown or a filling?” It’s easy to wonder why simply getting another filling isn’t necessarily the best choice. Every case is different, so it’s always best to ask your dentist why they’re recommending a treatment for you if you don’t understand, but the answer generally comes down to what removing a filling involves.
When Dr. Naik removes an old filling, she must also remove any decay or microfractures from the tooth beneath it. This is necessary to protect the long-term health of your tooth, but it does involve removing more of your natural tooth structure, creating a bigger hole in it that needs to be filled. In some cases, this new hole is too big to be filled with a traditional filling without leaving your tooth weak and vulnerable to injury, so placing a dental crown over it is the best solution.
Additionally, if you’re dealing with issues like tooth sensitivity, a dental crown might be the key to kicking that sensitivity to the curb and letting you enjoy the comfort of living without it again.
Your Flower Mound dentist can help restore your smile
As you begin learning more about dental crowns, it’s easy to see how their versatility and ability to protect teeth from future damage make them ideal for solving a wide range of oral health issues. Plus, thanks to cutting-edge dental technology, they feel and look more natural than ever! If you’d like to learn more about dental crowns and if they’re right for you, feel free to schedule a consultation with Dr. Naik at any time.