A dental crown is a porcelain or ceramic cap that fits over an existing tooth to improve its appearance or provide protection. Here are five situations in which dentists use dental crowns to treat common dental issues.
1. When a Filling Isn't Enough
When bacteria enter a tooth through a worn or eroded section of enamel, they can cause decay inside the tooth. In most situations, inserting a filling into the tooth is enough to block the hole in the enamel and keep the bacteria out.
If a tooth is badly damaged, a filling might not be enough to repair the tooth and keep it safe from decay. This situation can arise if someone puts off going to the dentist for a long time, giving bacteria plenty of time to attack a vulnerable tooth. In this case, a dentist might need to use a crown instead of a filling to seal up the hole in the tooth and prevent bacteria from attacking it.
2. During a Root Canal Treatment
During a root canal procedure, a dentist grinds down the natural crown of a tooth so they can access its decayed root. They also remove the nerve of the tooth, which solves the pain that the patient feels as a result of the decay. This kind of treatment leaves the inner parts of the tooth exposed, so it is necessary to fit a crown to protect them from further decay.
3. To Protect a Chipped or Cracked Tooth
Although natural teeth are resilient enough to stand up to most everyday situations, it is possible to chip or crack a tooth while eating, playing sports or in an accident. Chipped and cracked teeth are vulnerable to decay, so it is important to fit a crown to protect the tooth. Fitting a crown is usually a better option than removing the tooth and replacing it with a dental implant as it is a less invasive procedure.
4. To Disguise a Badly Misaligned Tooth
Dentists sometimes fit crowns for cosmetic reasons. If you have a tooth that is healthy but misshapen or misaligned, fitting a crown might be one way to make your smile appear more regular. When you have only one poorly aligned tooth, a dental crown is often a cheaper and easier alternative to orthodontic treatment with braces.
5. When a Tooth Is Discoloured
Dentists can normally remove stains from teeth using professional whitening treatments. However, sometimes teeth appear discoloured due to thin enamel, which means that stain removal processes will not change their colour. In this case, a dental crown can make the tooth appear whiter.