Getting a crown is the most common restorative dental procedure in the country. In fact, around 2.3 million crowns get manufactured every year.
This figure is due to the fact that a crown takes care of so many different dental problems. Crowns treat everything from tooth injury to cavities.
Of course, nobody wants to get a crown, but sometimes it’s the best course of action to help restore your teeth to perfect working order.
That said, how do you know if you need a crown for your tooth? With so many problems that arise with our teeth throughout our lives, how do we know the warning signs?
To help you out, let’s go over what exactly a crown is and seven signs you need one.
What Is a Dental Crown?
A crown is a covering that goes over a tooth in order to protect it. It helps by restoring a damaged tooth to its original appearance and shape.
Many years ago, before technological advances in the dental field, if a tooth got seriously damaged, it was removed. The invention of the crown allowed for damaged teeth to be repaired so pulling them wasn’t necessary.
A crown for your tooth is made of either porcelain, metal, or both. To make a crown, a dentist first removes any decay from the problematic tooth. They then make an impression.
This impression is then sent to a lab, where a technician creates the actual crown. This fits directly over the tooth and is cemented in.
Now that you know exactly what a crown is and how it functions, let’s look at some signs that you need one.
1. You’ve Had a Root Canal Done
During a root canal, the dentist must drill into the middle of your tooth in order to remove all decay. This process of drilling into the tooth is necessary for the root canal, but unfortunately leaves the structure of the tooth weak.
A weak tooth is more vulnerable to fracture. Back teeth are especially vulnerable because they do most of the chewing when we eat. Front teeth can often be fixed with a filling.
The best way to protect the weak tooth is by covering it with a crown. Due to the hole left by a root canal, a dentist will apply filling to support the crown.
2. You Have an Advanced Cavity
Sometimes a crown for your tooth is a better option than a filling. If you have a cavity that’s too advanced, there won’t be enough strong tooth available for a filling.
In this case, a crown will work instead. An advantage here is that a crown provides much better protection than a simple filling. Though they don’t protect against gum disease, they strengthen the tooth and help avoid further damage.
Let your dentist decide whether you need a crown or filling. This depends on the condition of the tooth and they are the best person to make that call.
3. You Have a Broken or Fractured Tooth
If you’ve had an injury and feel tooth pain that seems excessive, you may have a broken tooth. You may not know it, but you could have a fracture in more than one place.
In this case, a crown for your tooth will do a few things. It will help support and strengthen the damaged tooth. It will also help keep the broken tooth together.
Like a cavity, the severity of the break determines the necessity for a crown or filling. But a crown will offer the most protection from additional damage.
4. You Have Misshapen or Stained Teeth
Do you have one or more teeth that are misshapen? Do you have teeth that are severely stained? These problems are embarrassing and lead to self-consciousness and a lack of confidence.
A misshapen tooth could be the result of a small chip, severe grinding or happen naturally. Stains are often caused by things like cigarettes, coffee or improper care.
A crown is a great way to correct these problems. Not only will a crown greatly improve the appearance of a problematic tooth, it will strengthen the tooth’s structure.
5. You’re in Need of a Bridge
To fill a gap from a missing tooth, a dentist will use a dental bridge. This is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a bridge between the gap where a false tooth is held.
Dentists will often use crowns to anchor the bridge. In this case, the crown or crowns get placed on the tooth or teeth on either side of the gap. These are called “abutment” teeth.
The bridge that holds the false tooth gets attached to the crown. Because of their strength, crowns provide the perfect support for bridges.
If you’re getting a dental bridge, ask your doctor if they plan on using crowns as well.
6. You Have a Weak Tooth
There are a number of reasons for a weak tooth. Whether from injury, decay, loss of enamel, or a large filling, a weak tooth can be frustrating and even painful.
If you have weak or loose teeth, talk to your dentist about the possibility of a crown for your tooth. It’s likely that this is the best option.
The primary function of a crown is to strengthen and protect, so it works perfectly in this situation. It will allow you to chew food and brush your teeth without worrying about pain or further damage.
7. You’ve Suffered from Bruxism
Teeth grinding, or bruxism happens as a result of anxiety or occurs while asleep. A person with severe bruxism experiences pain, sore jaws, and even tooth damage.
If you’ve suffered from bruxism and have received treatment for it, a crown can fix any worn down teeth. By placing a crown over the damaged tooth, it’ll regain its original appearance.
Keep in mind that if you’re currently grinding your teeth, you could potentially damage a crown. Talk to your dentist to see it’s the right choice for you.
Do You Need a Crown for Your Tooth?
There’s no better way of determining if you need a crown than by consulting your dentist. However, use the signs discussed above as red flags that a tooth needs to be repaired. You can then decide if talking to your dentist should be the next step.
Doug Lewis Dentistry provides general and cosmetic dentistry services in the Birmingham area. Contact us today.