The dentist may recommend dental crowns for several reasons, usually to protect, stabilize or restore a tooth that has suffered damage or deterioration. A dental crown can also enhance the tooth’s shape and color or cover a dental implant to complete the tooth restoration procedure. The following are various uses of the dental crown.
Why use a dental crown?
Protect and restore a tooth
A dental crown can help improve the function and appearance of a tooth that has degraded, deteriorated or been damaged by decay or cavities. For instance, a dental crown can be used to protect a tooth after root canal therapy.
The procedure entails removing infected nerves from the tooth to stop further infection. The treatment makes the tooth weaker and brittle, predisposing it to breakage or fractures. A dental crown will be placed on the tooth to prevent the weak tooth from breaking. It can also help hold a broken or cracked tooth together to stop it from breaking completely.
Stabilize a tooth
A dental crown can support or stabilize other dental restorations such as dentures or bridges. A typical example of this is with a dental bridge, where a crown is attached to two healthy teeth that are on either side of the space left by the missing tooth. The procedure is becoming less common with the advent of dental implants, which do not require support from adjacent teeth.
Change the tooth’s appearance
Most people are concerned about the appearance of their teeth, usually because of their implication on the smile and face and one's overall confidence. The crown can mask a severely discolored, stained or damaged tooth when partial coverings with dental veneers are not suitable.
A dental crown can also cover and protect a tooth with a large filling when a larger part of the original tooth structure is lost to decay. This is more practical because a veneer cannot ensure long-term durability when most of the tooth structure is lost. Crowns, on the other hand, can provide a total covering to change the shape, size and color of the tooth.
Another instance when the crown will be beneficial for enhancing the appearance of the patient’s smile is when the original filling on a decayed tooth is discolored. The dental crown can be customized to look natural like healthy teeth.
Used with dental implants
Dental implants are successful tooth restorations for missing teeth. An implant consists of a titanium screw an abutment, and a crown. The titanium post sits inside the jawbone to serve as a foundation for the prosthetic crown. The abutment connected to the metal post holds the dental crown to restore the full function of the tooth.
Applications of dental crowns in children
Dental crowns are sometimes used on the primary teeth, also called the baby teeth. The crowns are temporary because the teeth will be replaced by permanent adult teeth as the child grows. Dentists usually recommend dental crowns for primary teeth to save a severely decayed tooth that cannot take a filling or protect a tooth that is prone to cavities.
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