A damaged tooth, advanced cavity, or having a root canal are some of the primary reasons you may need a dental crown. A crown, or a dental cap, is a covering that’s placed over a damaged tooth to restore its functionality and durability. Your dentist will be the one to decide if a crown is right for you. But how do you know you need to see the dentist in the first place?
If you have a root canal on one of your back molars then you will probably need a crown to help strengthen it and protect the tooth from future infection. Advanced cavities are another reason for a crown, with the crown replacing the decayed tooth surface. Crowns can also be used to treat chipped, fractured, and worn down teeth.
1. Root Canal
Root canals are used to treat teeth with infected pulp. While a root canal can cure symptoms of infected pulp and prevent them from returning, it can also leave your tooth weaker than it was before the procedure. A dental crown is the perfect solution to help strengthen the tooth while also aiding in the prevention of future infections.
Located in the center of the tooth, pulp is made up of connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves that act as the root of the tooth. Sometimes the pulp of a tooth can become infected, resulting in:
- Severe tooth pain when chewing or applying pressure to the tooth
- Tooth decay
- Tender, swollen gums
- A pimple on the gums that never goes away or keeps returning
- Tooth sensitivity that lasts long after cold or heat has been removed
Our dentists will anesthetize, disinfect, and dry the tooth before performing a root canal. Once that’s done, they will drill a small hole in the infected tooth so they can access the pulp chamber. This will allow them to extract any nerve tissue or other damaged material from inside the tooth.
You may need restorative dental work to protect the functionality of the tooth and prevent future infection, which may include applying a dental crown. This isn’t always necessary, but much more likely if you’ve had a root canal on a back molar that’s likely to experience more pressure.
There are few things dental patients fear more than a root canal. Fortunately, adding a dental crown will help ensure that you never have to worry about that particular tooth again. Think of it as the finishing touch on your root canal.
2. Advanced Cavities
Cavities, or carries, are areas of your tooth’s surface that have been permanently damaged by tooth decay. They eventually develop into openings or holes in your tooth that grow larger and deeper if not treated properly. Cavities are one of the most common dental problems in the world and can be prevented with good oral hygiene.
Unfortunately, people don’t always seek treatment when they need it. What may be more concerning is that some people don’t even realize they have a cavity until it’s too late. Cavities can hide in places where they’re hard to see, so it’s important to be aware of their symptoms, which include:
- Toothaches that don’t seem to have any cause
- Teeth that are sensitive to hot or cold temperatures
- Teeth that are sensitive to sweet foods or drinks
- Black or brown stains on the surface of your teeth
- Pain when biting or chewing
Crowns aren’t usually a dentist’s first choice for treating a cavity. If caught early enough, they can usually be treated with fluoride treatments or fillings. Fluoride treatments help to restore enamel and may even be able to reverse cavities in their earliest stages. Fillings are ideal for when cavities have progressed beyond the earliest stage.
Crowns become necessary when cavities have advanced beyond this point, resulting in increased decay and weakened teeth that require more serious treatment. To remedy this problem, one of our dentists here at My Family Dentistry will remove enough of the decayed area to place a crown to strengthen the tooth and restore its functionality.
Of course, the best way to deal with cavities is to ensure they never form to begin with. You can do this by brushing twice per day, flossing at least once per day, and visiting our office every six months for cleanings and checkups.
3. Misshapen Teeth
Misshapen teeth can occur for a variety of reasons and can affect you in different ways. For some people, a misshapen tooth may simply be a cosmetic problem. For others, they can be the result of years of damage that have made their teeth less effective by impeding their ability to bite, chew, or speak.
Examples of misshapen teeth include:
- Chipped teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Worn down from grinding
Teeth with large chips can be embarrassing for many people, especially if it’s a front tooth. In this case, one of our dentists can cover the chip with a crown by smoothing the chipped surface down until it’s even. Crowns do more than improve the appearance of a chipped or broken tooth. They also help protect your tooth from future chips and breaks.
Whether a cracked tooth can be treated with a crown will depend on the type of crack it is. A crack that extends vertically down below the gumline isn’t treatable and must be extracted. Fortunately, a tooth can be treated if the crown is the only cracked part. To do this, your dentist will perform a root canal and add a crown, as we discussed earlier.
Teeth can eventually become worn down due to grinding. This is known as bruxism and is a common symptom of TMD. Teeth grinding usually happens at night but can also occur during the day. It’s often the result of stress and can do serious harm to the chewing surfaces of your teeth if left unchecked.
Do you suffer from a condition that may require a crown? Contact us today to learn how a crown can strengthen your tooth and protect it from further damage.
We believe everyone deserves to have a smile they can be proud of, and we provide that to our patients using the latest techniques in comfortable dentistry. My Family Dentistry is open Monday through Thursday and every other Friday. Give us a call at (865) 947-6453 or you can schedule an appointment online.