Small cavities are easy to fix, but major tooth decay can't be fixed with just a filling. Even when the cavity is removed and filled, the tooth may be weak from the process.
For this reason, dental crowns are often used on weak teeth or teeth with lots of decay. If you think dental crowns may be the right choice for you or your family, check out these five frequently asked questions.
1. What Is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown or cap is like a new exterior for your tooth. A filling only refills the hole left by a cavity, which is fine for smaller cavities on relatively healthy teeth. However, if the tooth has become weakened from decay, cracks, chips, root canal therapy, or pulpotomy, more drastic measures may be required.
When weak teeth are exposed to the massive pressure of chewing, they are more likely to crack, chip, or even shatter. The dental crown gives the tooth a new, solid exterior, which allows the pressure to be better distributed over the tooth, resulting in fewer cracks.
2. What Types of Crowns Are Available?
Depending on your needs and budget, you can choose from a few different types of crowns. Metal crowns are common on back teeth because of their great durability. They are also more affordable, but they aren't as attractive as tooth-colored crowns.
Composite crowns are tooth-colored, which makes them look more like natural teeth, but porcelain crowns are the best choice for aesthetics because they look the most like real teeth. On back teeth, porcelainfused-to-metal crowns are best because they have the added metal for extra strength. However, on front teeth, all-porcelain is best.
3. Can Dental Crowns Improve Cosmetic Problems?
Dental crowns can be used to improve other problems, too. For example, if you have crooked teeth, a dental team can use dental crowns to make your teeth look straight, which not only improves the look of your smile but also makes cleaning your teeth easier.
If you choose tooth-colored dental crowns, you can get an entire smile makeover because dental crowns can fix chips, cracks, misshapen teeth, gapped teeth, and many other cosmetic issues.
4. Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Crowns?
You're a good candidate for a dental crown if any of your teeth are weak. However, even after a crowns is placed, you must continue to follow excellent oral hygiene habits. The crown protects most of the tooth from bacteria and decay, but the crown stops at the gum line.
Crowns (especially metal crowns) alone can irritate gums, causing some recession, but if you fail to clean your teeth, the plaque and tartar worsen the recession. With enough gum recession, plaque can reach the tooth's exposed root. Similarly, without proper care, decay can start to attack the crown, causing it to become loose or break.
5. What Is the Dental Crown Process?
Before a dental crown can be placed, the dentist must remove the tooth enamel. This exposes the tooth to severe decay, but the crown protects it. However, this also means the process is permanent. Your tooth's enamel won't regrow, so you'll always need a crown to protect the tooth.
Typically, a temporary crown is used while the lab crafts the finished product. Once the finished crown is finished, the temporary is removed and replaced with the final crown.
Dental crowns are a great way to save a tooth from extraction. At Kids of OZ Dental, we provide dental crowns that can strengthen teeth and improve the overall appearance of any smile. For more information, give us a call or send us a message today to schedule an appointment.