Dental crowns are one of the most common dental treatments available to patients due to the versatility they provide in treating a variety of dental issues. Since the procedure is designed to cover a portion of a natural tooth with a cap that looks and feels just like a “real” tooth, crowns can be used for both restorative and cosmetic purposes.
One common reason that your dentist might recommend a dental crown is if you have extensive tooth decay. Although minor decay can typically be addressed by removing the area of decay within the tooth and then filling the area with a dental filling material, such as porcelain, composite resin or amalgam, if decay within a tooth is too extensive, removing the area of the tooth that is affected may compromise the strength and function of the remaining tooth. If this is the case, a filling alone will not be enough to reshape and restrengthen the tooth and a crown is often suggested.
Another reason that you may need a crown is if you have a tooth that is cracked, chipped, broken or otherwise damaged or weak in some way. As is the case with a decayed tooth, the area of damage will be removed and a mold will be taken in order to fabricate a tooth cover, or crown, that will restore the beauty and function of your tooth.
A crown is fabricated from porcelain material to precisely fit over the portion of an existing tooth that can be salvaged in the case of decay or damage so that it protects the remaining structure of the tooth while looking, feeling and functioning as if you had a completely healthy tooth. The natural tooth may have to be further filed or shaped to properly fit the crown, but leaving the base of the tooth intact offers a number of benefits to you, such as protecting bone health and avoiding shifting of teeth.
Dental crowns can also be used to cover imperfections that you would like to hide. Since the existing tooth surface is completely covered by a “new” tooth that is fabricated to look like a beautiful, healthy tooth, flaws and imperfections can be completely concealed. This dental treatment option is typically not recommended for minor surface flaws, such as discoloration or slight chips, since there are other procedures that leave more of the existing tooth structure intact that can provide the cosmetic enhancement desired, but they are a good option for teeth with more extensive flaws.
Additionally, crowns are used along with other dental procedures, such as dental implants and dental bridges. In the first case, a crown is fabricated to replace a missing tooth and is permanently affixed to a titanium post that is secured to the jawbone so it looks and feels just like a real tooth. In the case of a bridge, crowns are used on either side of a missing tooth to anchor a replacement tooth by way of a bridge to existing healthy teeth and an additional crown is attached to the bridge to sit in the space left by the missing tooth.
As you can see, there are many reasons why dentists recommend dental crowns to their patients. They offer a number of restorative and cosmetic benefits that result in healthy and beautiful smiles.
For more information about dental crowns, contact Gentle Dental in Queens at 718-461-0100.