Grinding your teeth, an improper bite, age, root canals, lost fillings and tooth decay can all be contributing factors in the wearing down, cracking or breakage of your teeth. Dental crowns cover the entire visible surface of your affected tooth and add strength, durability and tooth stability.
Crowns are made of natural looking porcelain and are made to improve your overall smile or to blend in with your own teeth. Your cosmetic dentist will usually be able to spot problem areas in your mouth that might lead to tooth damage and a need for crowns. Chewing patterns play a big role as well. By selectively grinding the tips of your middle and back teeth will alter your bite to reduce the stress on at-risk teeth. Crowns are dental restorations otherwise known as “caps” which are coverings that fit over teeth. Crowns are also used to improve the appearance of natural teeth that are malformed, malpositioned or discolored.
Who is a candidate for Tooth Crowns?
A dental crown is needed when a tooth is badly broken down – either a cusp has broken off, or there are large old fillings or a large portion of decay. A filling is used to fill a small portion of the tooth – a crown when the tooth has extensive damage.
Large Cavity: Extensive damage by decay. If a tooth has decay so deep and large that a filling will not stay, or if the tooth structure is weakened, a crown must be placed on the tooth to save it.
Discolorations and compromised esthetics.
Fractures or Cracked Tooth:
A tooth that has broken is usually too weak to hold a filling. A crown will hold the tooth and prevent it from breaking again. If the fracture involves the nerve, Root Canal Therapy may be required before the tooth is crowned. In some cases, a broken tooth cannot be saved and must be extracted. It is important to crown a cracked tooth before it breaks, because in some cases a broken tooth cannot be crowned and must be extracted.
After Root Canal:
Teeth tend to become brittle and are more apt to fracture. These teeth need to be protected by a crown.
When missing teeth are replaced with a bridge, the adjacent teeth require crowns in order to support the replacement teeth.
Types of Tooth Crowns
There are basically three types of crowns, those made of metal, metal-ceramic crowns and ceramic crown. metal and metal-ceramic crowns are extremely durable and are normally used in molars, where the forces from chewing and grinding are most prevalent. Ceramic crowns are used primarily for front teeth, since they can best resemble the natural tooth color.