What Is a Dental Crown and Why Do I Need One?

Dental crowns can help you smile again. 

Dental crowns are a great treatment used to restore the natural function and appearance of a damaged or weakened tooth. After your natural tooth has been reshaped to accommodate the crown, it’s placed over your tooth like a cap. Dental crowns are often made of a strong, stain-resistant porcelain material and only require a good oral hygiene routine once they’re placed in your mouth. If you take good care of them, they can last about 15 years before they need to be replaced. 

Crowns are surprisingly versatile, and are used in a number of restorative and cosmetic procedures. Due to this, there are a number of reasons you could need or want to receive a crown. Here are the issues that crowns are used to treat most often. 

Crowns restore teeth after severe decay.

If a tooth has suffered from severe decay, there might not be a lot of natural tooth structure left after the decay has been removed. If this is the case, Dr. Farless might recommend that you get a crown in order to restore the tooth’s function and to protect it from further damage. This will help you to chew better on that side of your mouth and will strengthen the tooth, which may be weakened due to the loss of structure.

They can protect weak teeth.

While it’s rarely the case that a person has “soft teeth” that are more prone to decay, it is true that some teeth in your mouth can be weak, or prone to cracking, chipping, or breaking. A tooth can be made weak by a large filling or by enamel erosion, which can be caused by acid reflux, a diet high in acid-producing foods, or simply age. 

If one of your teeth is at risk of cracking or breaking, your dentist might recommend you put a crown on it to protect it from damage. While this may seem counterintuitive since crowns require a good portion of the natural tooth to be shaved away, taking early action may save you a good deal of pain and money down the track. You never know how a tooth will break, and if it breaks too close to the gum line, there won’t be enough tooth structure left on which to place a crown. If this happens, the tooth needs to be extracted and replaced using a bridge or a dental implant. You could save yourself pain by proactively protecting teeth that are at a high risk of breaking.

They restore broken or worn teeth.

If your tooth does break, it can usually be restored using a dental crown. Teeth that have worn down over the years, often from things like acid reflux or grinding your teeth at night, can also be restored and protected from further wear by placing a crown over them. This will improve the function of your teeth and eliminate the pain or sensitivity that can result from severely worn teeth. Crowns are custom made for your mouth, allowing you to maintain or reclaim an even bite and a smile that looks natural.

Crowns play a major role in tooth replacement treatments.

When you lose a tooth, there are several tooth replacement options that you can choose from, including bridges and dental implants. Both of these options incorporate crowns in order to replace the tooth, restoring your smile, self-confidence, and the function of your teeth while protecting your overall oral health from the consequences of losing teeth. 

The first tooth replacement option, a bridge, consists of one or two prosthetic porcelain teeth that are supported by crowns. These crowns are placed over the teeth on either side of the gap. Dental implants are the second treatment option that incorporate dental crowns; this treatment involves embedding a titanium rod into your jawbone, protecting you from bone loss and preserving your face shape. The metal rod is topped with a crown in order to restore both the appearance and function of your smile.

Crowns can cover misshapen or discolored teeth.

If you have misshapen or stained teeth that leave you a little self-conscious of your smile, crowns can be used to transform the appearance of those teeth. Since crowns are custom made, they can be created not only to fit your mouth perfectly, but also to improve the appearance of your smile, giving you the smile you always wanted. Crowns can be made to your specifications, whether you want to simply make an exact replica of your tooth without a stain, incorporate a unique aspect of your natural tooth, or give the tooth a completely new appearance. The goal is for you to love your smile and leave our office with new-found confidence, so what you want plays a big role in what your crown will look like. 

Whether you choose to use them proactively to protect a tooth from future damage, to treat issues such as broken teeth, or to fix cosmetic issues, crowns can provide huge improvements to your daily life. Their versatility and natural appearance enables them to improve both the look and function of your smile so much so that you’ll forget they’re even there.