Crowns are dental restorations that are made of a strong and resilient material such as porcelain, gold, or zirconia. They are sometimes called caps since they cover the entire visible portion of teeth. The purpose of a crown is to protect dental work, like root canals, and act as the protective outer layer of the tooth. The crown seals the tooth to create a permanent and natural-looking solution to dental troubles.
Uses for Crowns
When a tooth is worn, weak, and unsuitable to provide strength and support to the bite, but a full extraction is not necessary, a dental professional will want you to have a crown placed to protect the work done. The general guideline to determine if a crown should be placed is figuring out if more than half of the tooth structure is gone. Most often, crowns are placed after you’ve had root canal therapy since the tooth is often left vulnerable to further damage once the decay is cleaned out.
There are multiple other reasons that may make you a candidate for a crown. Having an old filling fall out, large pieces of the tooth break off, or extreme decay will usually require a crown to preserve the area. If you have discomfort or sensitivity from chewing, clenching, or grinding your teeth causes discomfort or sensitivity, that could be another determining factor for when a crown is appropriate. There are circumstances when crowns are appropriate for the front teeth too, particularly when the decay or damage is too comprehensive. Sometimes patients choose a crown for cosmetic reasons to restore appearance since crowns are often tooth-coloured. Others have crowns to fasten to dental bridges for a more solid foundation.
There are situations when crowns are not appropriate, or perhaps not worth the cost, like:
- When the tooth experiences less physical stress
- When a filling can repair the structure
- When an onlay or inlay can cover the affected area
Whenever possible, a filling can be a sturdier and more cost-effective approach as long as the filling doesn’t have to cover too much area on the tooth. The filling can also act a placeholder until finances or time is available for the more involved procedure of placing a crown.
What the Procedure is Like
Crowns are placed over a tooth that has had extensive drilling or root canal therapy. A patient generally needs two separate visits: first to prepare the tooth by cleaning out the decay and shaping the area for the crown placement, and to make the impression and place a temporary crown. The second appointment takes place some weeks later to allow for the permanent crown to be made. When the material is ready, it is then cemented over the rest of the tooth.
Contact Village Lane Dental Today
If you live in the Okotoks, High River, or Calgary area and are having tooth pain that you aren’t sure requires a filling or a root canal with a crown, contact our friendly staff at Village Lane Dental Centre today and find out what our team of general dentists can do for you.