At your last checkup, the dentist noticed some trouble with one of your teeth. It was probably a molar that crumbled or had a large cavity that caused the concern. When the tooth deteriorates to a stump or can’t be fixed without major repair, your dentist will recommend a crown. Dental crowns are a good way to repair and protect damaged teeth.
Save the Tooth
Not too long ago, dentists would rather pull a tooth or several teeth and provide dentures to a patient than spend the time to fix the problem. While this was effective in treating tooth decay, it wasn’t comfortable for the patient and would often cause other problems.
Today, dentists are taught to save the tooth if possible. They will go to great lengths to keep a person’s natural teeth and not perform an extraction unless necessary. Therefore, you know that if your dentist recommends pulling a tooth, it’s not something they do lightly.
In order to save a tooth, the dentist needs to catch problems before they advance too far. That means you’ll need to make regular visits for checkups. A cavity is much easier to fill than a cap is to install. The smaller the hole in your tooth the less money it will cost.
A crown is a cap that goes over the natural tooth. If the tooth is decaying, it may have to be ground down to a small stump. That stump won’t help you chew your food and it will be a place for bacteria to grow and cause more health problems. Instead of leaving the stump, the dentist will cement a tooth-shaped cap over it. This will seal the stump off from any type of bacteria as well as provide a useful tooth.
Sometimes, a person will crack a tooth. This can happen by chewing something hard or in an accident. Rather than pull the tooth out or simply cement the pieces together, the dentist will use a crown to hold the tooth in place and prevent more damage from occurring.
You may also need a crown to help hold a bridge in place. Young children at high risk for tooth decay will usually get stainless steel crowns to protect their baby teeth.
Types of Crowns
As mentioned above, metal crowns are used on children. When the child’s baby tooth falls out, the crown comes out with it. They are low maintenance, inexpensive, and regular brushing and tooth care is all that is needed.
Resin crowns for adults are less expensive than other options. However, in this case you get what you pay for. Over time, a resin crown will wear down and need to be replaced.
Ceramic crowns can be made to match your natural teeth. They easily blend in with your smile. These types of crowns are usually used on the front teeth that show when a person smiles.
Porcelain with metal crowns can also be color matched. However, the crown is so strong that it can wear out the tooth opposite of it. That means, every time you chew, be it gum or a sandwich, and those teeth strike together, the crown is going to wear on the natural tooth. Some people complain that they can see the metal line near their gums. This can be a problem if your gums recede as you age. However, most patients are happy with the way dental crowns match their natural teeth and blend in.