If the dentist says you need a crown, you have lots of company. Crowns are one of the most common restorative procedures in dentistry. Crowns, which are caps that go over your teeth, can radically transform your smile and fix a variety of dental problems.
In this blog, Dana Samet, DDS, of Dental Art of South Bay explains four of the most common reasons you might need a crown.
What are crowns?
A crown is a tooth-shaped, tooth-colored cap that goes over a tooth to restore and strengthen it. In general, getting a crown takes two visits. In the first visit, we remove some enamel from the targeted tooth so the crown can fit snugly. Then we make an impression of the tooth and send the impression to a lab. When the crown has been made, you return to have your new crown put on.
Crowns can be made from a variety of materials, but ceramic is a very popular choice because it can be shaded to match your surrounding teeth, and it looks like natural enamel. Other materials include resin, metal — such as gold, palladium, nickel, and chromium — and porcelain-fused-to-metal.
Reasons to get a crown
There are many reasons why you may need a crown, but here are four of the most common:
1. You have a large filling
When you have a large or deep cavity, fixing it means that you’ll need to have a large filling placed in your tooth. Unfortunately, this can significantly weaken the structure of your tooth. If the cavity covers more than half your tooth, we usually recommend putting a crown over your tooth.
Without a crown in place, the tooth will remain in a weakened state and will be prone to further damage through shock or impact. Furthermore, if a significant portion of the tooth is removed for the filling, there will be a potential for additional decay in the tooth as time goes by if bacteria is able to find a way between the filling and the tooth. Getting a crown seals and reinforces the tooth to help head off further damage.
2. You have a root canal
A root canal is another very common dental procedure. According to the American Association of Endodontists, more than 15 million root canals are performed each year. Root canals are usually needed because a tooth has an infection or there’s a large amount of decay.
With a root canal, your dentist uses a small drill to extract the infected nerve and pulp from the inside of your tooth. Then your provider puts a rubbery material inside your tooth where your nerve and pulp used to be. Finally, your dentist puts on a crown to strengthen and reinforce your tooth.
3. You get a dental implant
A dental implant can replace a lost tooth or anchor a bridge. To replace a lost tooth, a titanium post is first inserted into your jaw where your tooth used to be. The post — which is called the implant — serves as your new tooth’s root. Then a small attachment — called the abutment — is fastened to the post. Finally, a crown is placed on the abutment. The only thing anyone will see above your gumline is your new crown, which will look just like your other teeth.
In the case of a bridge, the teeth that will anchor your new bridge will get crowns to reinforce them.
4. You want to brighten your smile
You may have discolored teeth for a variety of reasons. While we have a variety of other treatments available to treat discolored teeth, such as Invisalign or teeth whitening, sometimes these are not the best solutions for the problem.
If your teeth are discolored from within, teeth whitening may not be effective. A crown can cover a discolored tooth and give you a great smile again.
If you need a crown or want to see if you should get one, we can help. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone with Dental Art of South Bay today.