A crown can be recommended for your tooth for a number of reasons. Often it helps aid in Longevity or Function, but for some it can be a Cosmetic appeal. A tooth can lose its normal shape and size for a variety of reasons. A crown, also known as a “cap”, covers your tooth to help restore its original shape and size. Sometimes they are placed to help give a different shape and size as when they are used to cosmetically enhance or alter the appearance of the smile. Crowns can also be used to make teeth stronger and look better.
Crowns have a variety of uses. In many cases where a tooth has or requires a large filling, there isn’t enough functional tooth remaining to keep the filling in place. Often times if a person breaks off a wall or cusp of a tooth, it will need additional support to keep the tooth from continuing to break and eventually lose it. In such cases a tooth may require a filling, also known as a Build Up and a crown. The build up restores the substructure to the tooth, while the crown holds it all together. In this way crowns can protect teeth that are weak, and help fix ones that are broken. Teeth that have cracks in them will also need a crown to help prevent the tooth from breaking or causing the tooth to die. The crown will help to keep the crack from getting any deeper and causing nerve death to the inside of the tooth.
Many people may want crowns or veneers on their front teeth to correct their appearance. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are bonded to the front side of the teeth that will give the teeth a new shape, length, color, or strength. Sometimes this can be accomplished with as little as one crown/veneer or sometimes it requires many more. Placing all new veneers and or crowns on front teeth can give you a much younger appearance and bring back vitality and a bright white smile.
After a tooth has had a root canal, it is usually recommended that it should have a crown placed on it depending on the circumstances of each individual tooth. This could be due to a large filling in the tooth, large decay that caused the root canal, or due to loss of the blood supply to the tooth that can cause the tooth to become more brittle and break. It is usually recommended to get a crown on a tooth that has a root canal within 6 months to a years time, but sometimes we recommend sooner than that due to each tooth’s circumstances and environment.
It is important to note that just because a tooth has a crown on it, doesn’t make it impervious to decay and breaking. You can still get decay at the gumline of the crown where the tooth and crown edge come together. For this reason it is important to still brush and floss you teeth with crowns on them. This makes a fluoride varnish treatment every 3-6 months even more important to patients that have crowns on their teeth. While crowns are very strong, they can still break if certain factors are not followed. Anything that could crack or break a healthy tooth can also do so to a crown. It is advised to not chew on ice, or other non-food items (pencils, pens, fingernails, fishing line, sewing needles, etc). Also if your bite changes or you notice extra pressure on a tooth with a crown it is best to have us check it to see if it needs adjusting. Crowns wear slower than natural teeth and so sometimes they may need to be adjusted so that they are not being unnecessarily abused. This extra pressure could cause a crown to break or come off.
Crowns play an important role in dental health, and if you are in need of one, please contact our office today.