Dental crowns are one of the most common restorations that people need on their teeth. They can serve many purposes and can be advantageous to patients with a variety of needs. Because they are so frequently recommended, many dentists find that patients are confused about when a dental crown is needed.
What is a dental crown?
To understand when a dental crown is needed, you first need to understand what a dental crown is.
Simply speaking, there are two parts of the tooth – the root and the natural crown. The root is the part that is completely covered by the gum, and the crown is the part that is visible above the gum. The crown is the part that we typically envision when we think of a tooth.
A dental crown is basically a “cap” that sits over the surface of the natural crown (the visible part of the tooth) and serves to restore the shape, size, and strength of the tooth, as well as improve the appearance. The crown, when cemented into place, fully encases the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
When is a dental crown needed?
There are two primary reasons you might need to get a dental crown – cosmetic reasons, and restorative reasons.
Cosmetic reasons for a dental crown may include the following:
To cover stained teeth – Tooth stains that won’t go away with professional whitening can be masked with crowns.
To restore esthetics of crooked or misshapen teeth – Teeth that are crooked, have been worn by bruxism (teeth grinding), or are otherwise misshapen can be restored with crowns.
Restorative reasons for a dental crown may include the following:
To cover a dental implant – A dental implant functions like a tooth root, holding the replacement tooth in place. If only a single tooth needs to be replaced, a crown is often anchored to the dental implant.
To protect a weakened tooth – A tooth that is weakened, for instance, from decay, can be protected by a dental crown. The crown can protect the tooth from breaking or can hold together parts of a cracked tooth.
To hold a dental bridge in place – Crowns are frequently used to hold a dental bridge in place. A dental bridge is a way to replace missing teeth that doesn’t require the use of a dental implant (although some patients do choose to use implants as well).
To restore a tooth after a root canal procedure – Teeth often become weak after a root canal treatment. Dental crowns are often placed over them to restore their strength.
To cover and support heavily filled teeth – If a tooth gets a large filling, or has been filled multiple times on different sides, the structure of the tooth will be weakened and may need to be strengthened with a crown.
Do I need a dental crown?
Of course, you are the only one who can make the final decision as to whether or not you need a dental crown. At your dental consultation with White River Dental, we can listen to your wants and needs and help find a solution that makes sense for your situation. Whether you need a dental crown, a routine cleaning, or any other dental service or procedure, we are happy to help. Connect with us on Facebook, submit the contact form below, or give us a call at 812-378-2041.