Is your smile in need of some restorative help?
Have you ever wondered what the most common restorative dental procedure is? You may think it’s fillings, but in fact, crowns are even more common. A dental crown is a prosthetic fitting, usually made from porcelain, that a dentist will place over the top of an existing tooth. Porcelain is ideal because it has a similar look and texture to your natural teeth and is actually a little stronger than them.
But how do you know if you may need a dental crown? We’re going to take a look at 6 reasons, which will help you decide if it might be time to take a trip to the dentist.
1. Chipped Tooth
Your teeth are incredibly strong and resilient. Biting hard candies and chewing tough meat are regular tasks our teeth do with ease. But they aren’t resistant to chipping, cracking, or breaking.
A fall onto a hard surface can break or chip a tooth, but thankfully, it doesn’t have to result in a permanent change to your smile. Sometimes a dentist will repair chipped teeth through other methods, such as a filling, but if the injury is significant enough, a crown is the best option.
2. Worn-Down Tooth
It’s completely normal for teeth to wear down over time. While things like grinding your teeth can make this happen faster than expected, there are a few different ways normal life can wear teeth down.
Erosion is the wearing of the tooth’s surface caused by acidic foods and drinks. Fizzy drinks are the biggest culprits here. Someone who drinks a lot of fizzy drinks is likely to experience more erosion than others.
The most common cause of tooth abrasion is, ironically, harsh tooth brushing techniques. While dentists recommend you brush twice a day, incorrect brushing techniques can wear away tooth enamel. Other causes of abrasion are chewing on objects like pens or nail-biting.
As we mentioned, grinding your teeth can cause accelerated wear, and we call the result of this “attrition,” a decrease in tooth strength through sustained pressure. Wearing down of the teeth to the point where a dental crown is necessary will likely be due to a combination of these. For example, someone with both a high fizzy drink intake and a poor brushing technique will be far more likely to need restorative treatment.
3. Extra-Large Filling
Fillings are good treatments for cavities in the teeth caused by decay, but sometimes a cavity is large enough that a dental crown is a better solution. The larger a filling is, the more likely it is to cause a tooth to crack. This and the benefits of full-tooth protection that a crown brings makes it a better treatment than a large filling in most cases.
4. Root Canal Needed
Root canal treatment is a procedure that treats an infection at the center of the tooth. This infection is caused by bacteria in the mouth, which find their way into the tooth via a few different methods:
- tooth decay
- damage to the tooth from trauma, such as a fall
- fillings that have gaps between their edge and the tooth
Root canal treatment can save a tooth that may otherwise need to be removed, but once a root canal treatment has been carried out, the tooth is more likely to crack in the future, so a dental crown is a good way to protect it. Tooth sensitivity, pain when chewing, or a loose tooth are all signs that a root canal may be needed.
A root canal treatment can take a few appointments to complete, but the addition of the crown is a quick procedure, thanks to Dr. Barr’s use of CEREC crowns, which are also known as “same day crowns.” He has restored over 14,000 teeth with CEREC crowns and is considered an expert in this field.
5. Implant Needed
If you have a gap in your smile from a missing tooth, your dentist will use a dental bridge or implant to fill it. The tooth or teeth on either side of the gap are known as abutment teeth, and these will be prepared before the bridge is installed. Using crowns on the abutment teeth ensures a strong foundation for the bridge.
Once your dentist has attached the crowns, they will take an impression of the area in order to construct the bridge. They will then fit the bridge to the abutment teeth and cement it in place. This may be done over a few appointments to ensure the bite and placement are comfortable.
6. Cosmetic Benefit
Sometimes a tooth may become misshapen, stained, or have some other cosmetic differences from the rest of your teeth. If you want the best smile possible without paying for a full dental reconstruction, speak to your dentist about having crowns put in on any bothersome teeth.
An added benefit of a dental crown is that not only will it improve the look of a tooth, but it can also give it more strength and will therefore be less likely to suffer the same issues as the original tooth.
What should you do if you think you need a dental crown?
If you’ve read through this article and feel that you may benefit from a dental crown for any of the reasons above, the best thing you can do is get in touch with a dentist. They will be able to advise exactly what the best course of treatment is and will also be able to ease any apprehensions you may have about the process.
Even if you don’t have any of the issues listed in this article, you may actually still need a crown, so it’s important to keep up with regular dental appointments. If you want to know more about dental implants, we are here to answer any questions you might have.