There comes a time when a tooth requires extra support, whether it be from extensive decay with probable root canal treatment or large fillings that cover a significant part of the tooth's surface. In either case, a crown is the best option. It encases all sides of a tooth, providing unmatched structural integrity and durability.
Many people experience tooth decay and damage as they get older, making it difficult to chew food. As we all know, good nutrition is essential for our health and well-being, so maintaining a healthy diet becomes challenging when you can't bite into your food anymore.
What are dental crowns?
Because keeping your teeth healthy and functional is an important part of life, modern dentists will do their very best to salvage your natural teeth. That means that if at all possible, we will treat your tooth and attempt to keep it healthy instead of replacing it. This is often the best decision for your overall oral health, as missing teeth can lead to all sorts of issues, including gum and bone loss, as well as causing your remaining teeth to experience undue strain. Because we work so hard to save your teeth, you might one day find that a particular tooth has undergone treatment and has become discolored as a result.
Alternatively, you might experience a traumatic injury to a tooth and find that the same thing has happened – as a result of either the injury or the treatment, the tooth is now discolored and weak.
Dental crowns are an effective method for making them look better and increasing their strength. They fit over your teeth like a hat fits over your head (they are also known as "caps") and enhance their strength. This is especially useful for your molars, as they undergo extreme stress and pressure while you eat. Putting crowns on damaged molars can help preserve their life and their functionality.
Why dental crowns?
If you ask yourself, "why dental crowns?" you might be thinking about your options. While not all teeth can be treated with dental crowns, this is usually the best option for preserving an individual tooth that has experienced decay or major damage.
Dental crowns are needed for the following reasons:
- Protecting a tooth that has experienced severe decay – many people find that they must spend a significant amount of money to undergo root canal therapy and then put a crown on the tooth. If you have an especially large filling, it might not be possible for your dentist to restore your tooth with just a filler.
- Creating an anchor – if you have multiple teeth that need to be replaced, such as a bridge, it is sometimes necessary for your dentist to place crowns on the teeth near the bridge. This secures those teeth and makes sure that they do not experience any damage or fracturing due to supporting the bridge themselves.
- Restoring a tooth – if a tooth has been severely damaged or decayed, it might be necessary for your dentist to place a crown on the tooth. The decay or damage has left the tooth too weak to be treated with other methods.
- Covering discoloration – you might find that your tooth is discolored due to age, trauma, or root canal treatment. Placing a crown over the tooth will cover up the discoloration, making your smile look better.
- Enhancing your appearance – if you are embarrassed about the appearance of a tooth due to decay or damage, it might be possible for your dentist to place a direct veneer on top of one or more teeth. However, this is not often an option and is reserved for special situations.
What do dental crowns look like?
There are a variety of materials from which dental crowns can be made. This include:
A metal crown is usually gold. At the same time, this might sound like a silly cosmetic decision, several good reasons to choose a metal crown. They are very strong and durable, which means that they can last a long time without fracturing or decaying the surrounding tooth enamel. However, you might find it uncomfortable to chew on them from time to time since they are harder than most teeth.
Crowns made of porcelain are very strong and do not warp or fracture with use. They are often the best choice for people who value strength over all other considerations, especially if you tend to clench your jaw at night (sleep bruxism). The main drawback of porcelain crowns is that they are usually opaque, which means your teeth will look very dark.
Crowns made of pressed ceramic are usually a combination of porcelain and metal. While they provide the same durability as porcelain crowns, the materials' cause them to look more natural in color. This makes them a good choice for people who want their teeth to look natural but not compromise on strength.
These crowns are often made of a mixture of plastic and glass, which provides them with high strength and durability. They can also be made to look very natural in color and shape, which makes them a great choice for people who seek out cosmetic dentistry. The downside is that they can sometimes feel like your teeth are slightly loose when eating or drinking hot liquids.
How long does it take to place dental crowns?
You might be worried that it takes an undue amount of time to place a crown, but in reality, it only takes a few visits to our office. We will take a mold of your teeth and have the crown designed to fit and prepare your teeth for placement. When your crowns arrive, it will be time to return to our office and have them placed!
While keeping our teeth healthy isn't always easy, it is important to lead a healthy life. To that end, you must visit us often for exams and cleanings to maintain good oral health. It is also important. However, you get it treated quickly if you experience strange symptoms or develop something like a cavity. When a tooth becomes infected or is otherwise compromised, such as by traumatic injury, it can lead to you needing to have work done to help treat the tooth and keep it functional. At The Center for Implant and General Dentistry, we are happy to offer crowns to our patients who need a little extra protection for their teeth.
Are you interested in learning more about dental crowns in Lindale, TX? Give us a call today at (903) 231-6605!
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De Angelis, Paolo, et al. "Patient and operator centered outcomes in implant dentistry: comparison between fully digital and conventional workflow for single crown and three-unit fixed-bridge." Materials 13.12 (2020): 2781. https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1944/13/12/2781
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