A dental crown is a cap that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size, or strength, as well as to improve its appearance. Repairing a damaged tooth with a dental crown is a common procedure that takes place every day in dentist offices across the country. While most people have heard of dental crowns, either because someone they know needed one or they needed one themselves, many people are unclear about why or when they are needed. While there are a number of oral circumstances that can elicit the need for crowns, the following are three of the most common.
A large cavity or fracture in the tooth - If a tooth has a sizable cavity or fracture that encompasses more than half the width of the tooth, it needs to be remedied with a crown. When this is the case, the cavity or fracture weakens the remaining tooth and leaves it prone to further fracturing. Sometimes, if a tooth has a large filling that has been in place for a long time, a dentist will replace it with a crown if he or she sees signs of stress that could lead to cracks around the filling.
Damaged cusps - The cusp is the part of the tooth that bears most of the stress when someone chews food, and it can break due to either trauma or an existing filling. When a cusp is broken, a dental crown is needed to completely cover the tooth to prevent future fracturing. If the broken cusp causes the entire tooth to break all the way to the bone, then a dentist will shave away the damaged area and cover the existing, stronger tooth structure with a longer crown.
Excessive stress on the teeth - When someone has a habit of grinding his or teeth, they will slowly wear away over time. Teeth can also erode from conditions like gastrointestinal acid reflux, bulimia, or an overly acidic diet. Sometimes these conditions can completely erode the enamel and lead to small, soft teeth. To prevent complete destruction of the affected teeth, dentists will completely cover the teeth with a dental crown.
A dental crown procedure requires two visits to the dentist. During the first visit, the dentist will prepare the affected tooth and apply a temporary crown. At the second visit, the dentist will secure the permanent crown. While this procedure may seem daunting, it will leave your teeth feeling stronger and looking more healthy. If you think you’re in need of a dental crown, request an appointment at Southfield Family Dental Center today!