Have you ever had a tooth so damaged or decayed that a simple filling wouldn’t cut it? Or maybe you’ve had a root canal and must protect the weakened tooth from further damage? If you’ve found yourself in either of these situations, you may have heard your dentist mention the possibility of getting a dental crown. But why do you need a dental crown?
In short, a dental crown is a cap placed over a damaged or weakened tooth to protect it and restore its appearance and function. But there’s more to it than that. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into why you might need a dental crown and what the process entails. So buckle up and get ready to learn all about this necessary dental treatment.
What Is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a custom-made, tooth-shaped cap placed over a damaged or weakened tooth to restore its appearance and function. It is typically made of materials like porcelain, ceramic, metal alloys, or a combination of these materials, often researched by organizations like the American Dental Association.
The process of getting a dental crown typically involves several steps. First, the tooth that will receive the crown is prepared by removing a small amount of the outer layer of enamel. This allows the crown to fit correctly over the tooth. Then, an impression or mold of the prepared tooth is taken and sent to a dental laboratory, where the crown will be custom-made to fit the patient’s specific tooth and bite.
In the meantime, the patient may receive a temporary crown to protect the prepared tooth and maintain its shape and function until the permanent crown is ready. Once the permanent crown is complete, it is placed over the prepared tooth and secured with dental cement.
Dental crowns can provide a range of benefits, including restoring the appearance and function of damaged or weakened teeth, protecting teeth that have undergone root canal treatment, and improving the overall aesthetics of a patient’s smile. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a dental crown can last many years and help patients maintain good oral health with proper care and maintenance. But why do you need a dental crown?
Why Do You Need a Dental Crown?
So, why do you need a dental crown? A dental crown is a versatile dental restoration that can be used for various reasons, depending on the patient’s needs. Here are some common reasons why a dental crown may be recommended:
- To protect a weakened tooth: A tooth damaged by decay, trauma, or root canal treatment may be too weak to function correctly. A crown can help to protect and reinforce the tooth, preventing further damage and improving its overall durability.
- To restore a broken or damaged tooth: If a tooth has been chipped, cracked, or otherwise damaged, a crown can restore its shape, size, and function. Crowns can also cover discolored or misshapen teeth, improving the overall aesthetics of the patient’s smile.
- To support a dental bridge: A dental bridge is a dental restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth. Two dental crowns over the natural teeth on either side of the gap anchors the bridge.
- To cover a dental implant: A dental implant is a small, screw-like post surgically placed in the jawbone to replace a missing tooth root. A dental crown is then placed over the implant to restore the appearance and function of the missing tooth.
- To improve the appearance of a tooth: In some cases, a patient may want to enhance the appearance of a tooth that is discolored, misshapen, or otherwise unattractive. A crown can cover the tooth and provide a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Overall, a dental crown can provide many benefits, from improving the function and appearance of damaged or weakened teeth to supporting other dental restorations. If you are experiencing dental issues or are interested in improving the appearance of your smile, talk to your dentist about whether a dental crown may be right for you. But why do dentists push crowns?
What Happens if You Don’t Get a Dental Crown?
If you need a dental crown but choose not to get one, it can lead to a variety of dental problems, including:
- Further damage to the tooth: A tooth that is weakened or damaged is more vulnerable to additional decay, cracks, or fractures. The tooth may deteriorate over time without the crown’s protection and reinforcement.
- Increased sensitivity: A weakened tooth can be more sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks. Without a crown to protect and insulate the tooth, sensitivity may increase, causing discomfort and pain.
- Infection: A weakened tooth may also be more disease-resistant, leading to more severe dental and overall health problems. If the infection spreads to the tooth’s pulp, a root canal may be necessary to remove the infected tissue.
- Tooth loss: If the damage to the tooth is severe enough, it may not be able to be saved with a crown or other type of restoration. In this case, the tooth may need to be extracted, leading to additional dental problems and treatments.
- Aesthetics: A damaged or decayed tooth can be unattractive, and without a crown to restore its appearance, it can detract from the smile’s overall appearance.
Not getting a dental crown can lead to various dental problems, from increased sensitivity and risk of infection to tooth loss and aesthetic concerns. If your dentist has recommended a dental crown, following through with the treatment is essential to maintain good oral health and prevent more severe problems.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns offer several benefits for individuals with damaged, weakened, or decayed teeth. Here are some of the primary benefits of dental crowns:
- Protection and reinforcement: A dental crown can protect and reinforce a damaged or weakened tooth, preventing further damage and improving the tooth’s durability. This is particularly important for teeth undergoing root canal treatment, which can weaken the tooth structure.
- Improved appearance: Dental crowns can be designed to match the shape, size, and color of your natural teeth, resulting in a natural-looking smile. They can also be used to cover up discolored, misshapen, or otherwise unattractive teeth, improving the overall appearance of your smile.
- Enhanced functionality: A dental crown can restore the function of a damaged or decayed tooth, allowing you to eat, speak, and smile with confidence. It can also improve your bite, alleviating jaw pain and other dental issues.
- Long-lasting results: With proper care, dental crowns can last many years, providing long-lasting benefits for oral health and overall well-being.
- Customizable: Dental crowns can be made from various materials, including porcelain, ceramic, metal, and resin, which allows for customization based on the specific needs and preferences of the patient.
- Support for other dental restorations: Dental crowns can support different dental restorations, such as bridges and dental implants, improving overall dental function and appearance.
Overall, dental crowns offer a range of benefits for individuals with damaged or decayed teeth, from improved appearance and functionality to long-lasting results and support for other dental restorations. If you are experiencing dental issues or are interested in improving the appearance of your smile, talk to your dentist about whether a dental crown may be right for you.
Disadvantages of Dental Crowns
While dental crowns offer many benefits, some potential disadvantages should be considered before the procedure. Here are some of the primary downsides of dental crowns:
- Cost: Dental crowns can be expensive, particularly if multiple crowns are needed. Dental insurance may not cover this cost, making it difficult for some individuals to afford.
- Removal of natural tooth structure: Some natural tooth structures must be removed to place a dental crown. This can weaken the tooth and increase the risk of infection or other dental issues.
- Sensitivity: Some individuals may experience increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks after placing a dental crown. This sensitivity may persist for several weeks after the procedure.
- Risk of decay: While a dental crown can protect a weakened or damaged tooth, it does not eliminate the risk of decay or other dental issues. Individuals with dental crowns must still practice good oral hygiene and attend regular dental check-ups to maintain their oral health.
- Potential for damage: Dental crowns can be damaged or dislodged, particularly if subjected to excessive force or trauma. This can require additional dental procedures to repair or replace the crown.
- Allergic reactions: In rare cases, individuals may be allergic to the materials used in dental crowns, particularly metal-based crowns.
While dental crowns offer many benefits, some potential disadvantages should be considered. If you are considering a dental crown, talk to your dentist about the potential risks and benefits of the procedure and whether it is the best option for your dental needs and preferences. Now you know the dangers of dental crowns.
How To Prepare a Tooth for a Dental Crown
If your dentist has recommended a dental crown to repair a damaged or decayed tooth, the first step is preparing the tooth for the crown. Here’s a detailed explanation of how the tooth is ready for a dental crown:
- Examination and X-rays: Before the preparation process begins, your dentist will examine your tooth and take X-rays to assess the extent of the damage or decay and ensure that a dental crown is the best option for repair.
- Anesthesia: To prevent pain and discomfort during preparation, your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the area around the affected tooth.
- Tooth reshaping: Once the area is numb, your dentist will begin reshaping the tooth to make room for the crown. This may involve removing a portion of the tooth’s outer layer or filling material to create a smooth, even surface for the crown to attach to.
- Impression: After the tooth has been reshaped, your dentist will take an image of the tooth using a moldable material or digital scanner. This impression will create a custom-fitted crown that matches your natural teeth’ size, shape, and color.
- Temporary crown: While the permanent crown is being made, your dentist will place a temporary crown over the reshaped tooth. This temporary crown is designed to protect the tooth and prevent sensitivity or discomfort while the permanent crown is being fabricated.
- Final placement: Once the permanent crown is ready, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and place the permanent crown over the reshaped tooth. They will then use dental cement to permanently bond the crown to the tooth, ensuring a secure and long-lasting fit.
Overall, preparing a tooth for a dental crown involves reshaping the tooth, taking an impression, and placing a temporary crown before the final placement of the permanent crown. If you are undergoing a dental crown procedure, follow your dentist’s instructions before and after care to ensure the best possible outcome. Now you know the steps to preparing a tooth for a crown.
At Dental Contract Attorney, we’re a seasoned legal team dedicated to dentistry contracts. Our experience in healthcare equips us to tackle your contract challenges, providing tailored advice to safeguard your interests. To negotiate your contract confidently, reach out for a consultation today.