Getting a dental crown put on a tooth is one of the most common restorative procedures performed by a dentist. There are a variety of reasons why you may need a crown on a tooth. Before the crown was invented through technological advances, when you had a tooth that was weak and imperiled, the dentist simply removed it. Now, with crowns, you can save the basic tooth and solve many problems.
How do you know when you need a dental crown? There is not an easy, quick answer because it can be difficult to tell when a crown is called for. Your dentistry team at Sninski & Schmitt Family Dentistry is experienced in determining when a crown is necessary. In this article, we wanted to help you learn what a crown is and what the signs are that you may need one.
What is a Dental Crown?
A tooth consists of two parts–the root and the crown. The root is the part of the tooth that is below the gum line. The crown is the part of the tooth that is visible above the gum. A dental crown is a covering that goes over a tooth. It is a natural-looking “cap” on top of your tooth that protects it. A crown can also improve the shape, function, or appearance of the tooth. This strengthens your tooth and reestablishes the structural integrity so its health is restored..
A crown is made either of porcelain, metal, or both. In making a crown, first the dentist removes any decay from the tooth and then makes an impression or mold. The mold is sent to a lab where a technician creates the actual crown. The dentist finally fits the crown over the tooth and cements it in place.
Five Signs You Need a Dental Crown
Here are five signs that you may need a dental crown.
Sign #1: Large Filling
In your early years, you may have had cavities that required large fillings. Maybe this was before crowns became popular. Perhaps you had a tooth with significant decay and the majority of tooth ended up with a filling. Over time, the original tooth can become weak, fracture, and crack. A tooth with a large filling, especially an old filling, can need a dental crown to protect and strengthen the remainder of the tooth.
Sign #2: Broken/Fractured/Cracked Tooth
If you feel tooth pain that seems excessive, you could have a broken or fractured tooth. A fracture can come from a large filling that has weakened the tooth, or biting on something hard not knowing that a tooth is weak. A dental crown will help support and strengthen the broken, fractured tooth. It will also help keep the damaged tooth together. The severity of the break determines the necessity for a crown or filling. Your dentist can diagnose which reparative option is best for the situation.
Sign #3: Prior Root Canal
A root canal requires the dentist to drill into the middle of your tooth in order to remove all the decay. Unfortunately, though this procedure is necessary, it can weaken the structure of the tooth. When a tooth is weakened, it can fracture more easily, especially molars (back teeth) because they do most of the chewing. Sometimes with front teeth the dentist can use a filling; however, usually the best way to protect the tooth is using a dental crown.
Sign #4: Advanced Cavity
If you have a cavity that’s advanced, there probably isn’t enough of a strong tooth available for a filling, so a dental crown is the best option. The crown provides much better protection long-term than a simple filling. Your dental team at Sninski & Schmitt Family Dentistry will properly diagnose and guide you as to the best option for your individual situation.
Sign #5: Misshapen or Stained Teeth
If you have one or more teeth that are misshapen or severely stained, you understand how it can affect your self-confidence. Stains are usually caused by substances such as cigarettes, coffee, tea, or improper care of your teeth. A tooth that is misshapen can be the result of a congenital condition, a chip, or teeth grinding. When your bite has altered through teeth grinding or lost dentition, it can be corrected by increasing the vertical dimension with a crown(s). If your teeth are too short from a congenital condition or chips and need to be lengthened, crowns can be the solution. Not only can a dental crown improve the appearance of a tooth it can also strengthen the structure.
Contact Sninski & Schmitt Family Dentistry for Dental Crowns
Our team at Sninski & Schmitt Family Dentistry in Cary and Holly Springs, NC is experienced in dental crown procedures. We offer a variety of quality dental services for your family’s dental care needs. Call us at our Cary, NC dentist office at (919) 467-2203 and our Holly Springs dentist office at (919) 600-6262 or make an appointment using the form below.