When is a dental crown needed
There are a variety of situations that require a tooth to be restored with a dental crown. The following are the most common:
When a tooth has a cavity or fracture that involves half the width of the tooth or more, it needs to be covered with a crown. This is because the remaining tooth around the large filling is so weak that it is prone to fracture. Sometimes a large filling that has been in the mouth for a while will need to be replaced with a crown because the tooth shows signs of stress and cracks around the filling.
Root canal treatment leaves the tooth hollowed out and predisposes the remaining tooth to cracking. So, a tooth that has had a root canal almost always needs to be restored with a crown immediately to prevent it from fracturing.
Cracked tooth syndrome
This is a condition whereby a patient has fractures inside a tooth that cause pain when it is chewed on a certain way. Chewing produces stress on fracture lines that make it feel like it is splitting apart. A crown will hold the tooth together and redistribute the stress evenly throughout the tooth, eliminating the pain in
most instances. In these situations, it is best to leave a temporary crown on for a while to make
sure the pain goes away and the tooth doesn’t require a root canal.
Cusps frequently break off of teeth due to trauma or large existing fillings. Since the cusps are the part of the tooth that takes the most stress during chewing, they need to be completely covered or the tooth or filling will keep fracturing. Sometimes the tooth breaks all the way to the bone, and a crown-lengthening procedure is necessary. This means the bone and gums need to be trimmed down below the edge of the fractured part of the tooth so the margin of the crown can be placed on healthy, strong tooth structure.
Undesirable appearance of teeth
Teeth that have an unacceptable appearance due to color, shape, or spaces between teeth can be made to look very natural and beautiful with crowns. Dental veneers are a very
effective and conservative way of enhancing the look of the front teeth. They can be made to look very natural, and sometimes don’t even require preparing or shaving the existing teeth.