What is a dental crown, and why is it required? A dental crown can be a bit confusing to first-time patients, as at first it appears to be something that’s entirely cosmetic. While a dental crown can be cosmetic, it’s actually prescribed for health reasons. Here’s everything that you need to know.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is essentially a sheathe that fits over a damaged tooth or a tooth that has been repaired due to a cavity. This dental crown will look exactly like a natural tooth and fits onto your teeth just as your natural tooth once did. There are many types of dental crowns and many reasons why dentists generally suggest a crown, especially if a tooth has been badly damaged.
What Are the Types of Dental Crowns?
Crowns serve many purposes. They are prescribed when an individual has lost a large amount of their visible tooth. This occurs often after either trauma or a root canal. Though the base of the tooth is still there, there is a hole where the tooth once was. A crown does the following:
- Make it easier for you to eat. Back teeth in particular are often used to chew properly and without it you may have difficulty eating properly and enjoying your meals. A crown will make it easier for you to chew your food properly, including avoiding complicates later on.
- Cosmetically improve your appearance. If you’ve lost a visible tooth, a crown is a way to give you the appearance of that tooth back without having to pull the tooth and replace it altogether. Crowns are generally preferred over other methods such as implants and bridges.
- Protect the remainder of your tooth. Without a crown, the rest of your tooth is often left vulnerable. Because the inside of your tooth may have been removed (in a root canal), the tooth may be “dead.” If the tooth was damaged otherwise, the nerve could otherwise risk exposure if your tooth were to crack. Protecting the remainder of your tooth becomes very important, because if it shatters, you may need to get it pulled entirely and replaced. Dentists always attempt to preserve as much of your natural tooth as possible, as it lowers the risk of complications.
- Prevent your other teeth from shifting. One of the most important aspects of a crown is that it prevents your other teeth from shifting. Teeth do shift over time because of the forces exerted upon them. Without a crown, your teeth will often shift towards the hole that is left by your missing tooth. This is especially problematic in people who are young, as they may find that their teeth radically shift as they get older.
Crowns are very important. If you’re about to get a crown, it’s usually ideal to talk to your dentist about it and why you need it. A dental crown isn’t always necessary; there are times when a dental crown may be avoided, especially if you are older or if the amount of tooth you have lost isn’t substantial.