A dental crown is one way to cover up a damaged tooth. It gives you back a functional tooth that allows you to eat, speak and drink as normal. It also helps preserve the look of your smile, so that you don’t feel self-conscious. However, a dental crown is not appropriate in every situation.
When Would a Dentist Recommend a Dental Crown?
A dentist may recommend that you get a dental crown if you have a tooth with any of these conditions.
- Decay – If your teeth aren’t properly cared for, the enamel on the surface of the tooth can begin to decay, exposing the tissue inside. These cavities can grow larger and larger if they do not receive a filling. Eventually, the tooth may become infected, deteriorating even further.
- Discoloration or Misshapen – Teeth can become discolored or misshapen due to genetics, accidents, or outside forces like smoking. If the dentist cannot fix the tooth, one option he or she may recommend is putting a dental crown over it.
- Accidents – A tooth can sustain damage due to an accident of any kind. If the tooth is cracked or broken, it may need a dental crown to prevent any more damage from occurring.
Who Is Not a Good Candidate for a Dental Crown?
Dentists are not going to recommend crowns for every patient. There are certain things that make some patients poor candidates for this type of procedure.
- Periodontal disease – If you get gum infections and your dentist has diagnosed you with periodontal disease, you are not a good candidate for a dental crown. The crown needs healthy bone and tissue around it. Until the periodontal disease is contained and corrected, the crown will have to wait.
- Going through radiation treatments – If you are undergoing radiation treatments in the head or neck area, the dentist will not recommend a crown. The radiation can alter the structure of the bone and tissues around the damaged tooth making it difficult for a crown to set properly.
What Is Involved with Placing a Dental Crown?
The procedure for getting a dental crown goes something like this:
- The dentist will take a mold of the area surrounding the tooth that is being crowned. This mold allows the dentist to select the proper shape and size of the crown.
- The dentist will grind the tooth down into the shape of a post. This shape provides a solid base on which the crown will sit.
- With the post in place, the dentist will install a temporary crown. This crown will stay in place until the permanent one gets installed.
- The dentist places the order for the crown with the prosthodontist’s office. That office is responsible for creating the crown and delivering it to the dentist’s office.
- Once the crown arrives, the dentist will remove the temporary one and install the permanent one.
Once installed, you can use the crown like you would your natural teeth. A typical crown can last anywhere from seven to ten years with proper care and cleaning. It can sustain damage, just like a natural tooth. If that happens, it will need to be replaced.
If you have a tooth that you think needs a crown, call the Katy TX Dental offices of Dentistry By RSE today to set an appointment.