Sometimes called “caps,” dental crowns cover your entire tooth (up to the gum tissues, that is.) Unlike dental filling material that goes inside of teeth, a crowned tooth has the restoration around the outside of it. All tooth structure is encased inside a strong, protective layer of porcelain or ceramic.
Dental crowns are unique in the way they protect and reinforce your natural teeth. Depending on your situation, here are just some of the reasons why Dr. Bharathi may recommend one for your tooth:
Restore a Broken Tooth or Worn Down Enamel
Tooth decay, trauma, and clenching/grinding can break or wear down your tooth enamel. Broken teeth tend to continue breaking until a dental crown procedure is performed to protect them. And when your bite is off because of irregular tooth shape, it can affect all of your adjacent teeth, not to mention your TMJ.
Without a dental crown over your compromised tooth structure, your remaining tooth will give way to premature, advanced enamel wear. This can affect both your oral function as well as your appearance. The earlier the tooth is protected, the less likely additional structural damage is to occur.
Strengthen a Natural Tooth’s Shape/Structure
Sometimes natural teeth are shaped irregularly. Maybe you have “peg laterals” (short, narrow teeth on either side of your two front teeth) that detract from your appearance. Not to mention limit its full function.
Whenever Dr. Bharathi places dental crowns, she takes special steps to ensure the new crown falls in proper alignment with all of the surrounding teeth. Including those opposite of it, which it bites against. Since crowns allow for normal biting and chewing, you don’t have to worry about not being able for your restoration to function normally.
Protect a Weakened Tooth (Because of Decay or Root Canal Treatment)
Structurally compromised teeth tend to gradually break down over time. Maybe you have a weak tooth because of an old, large filling. Or recent root canal treatment resulting in a non-vital tooth. Perhaps there’s a large area of tooth decay that can’t be repaired with a filling. At that point, the next logical solution is to place a permanent crown over the entire tooth. This protects the underlying tooth enamel so that it doesn’t “give out” and deteriorate when you’re chewing on it.
Porcelain crowns, metal, or resin crowns can be used throughout the mouth, depending on whether it’s the front or back teeth in question. Dr. Bharathi will discuss the advantages of each option as it relates to your circumstances. Besides root canal treatments, dental crowns are one of the last lines of defense for badly damaged teeth.
Hold a Dental Bridge in Place
Whenever you’re replacing a missing tooth with a bridge, either end of the fixed bridge is essentially a dental crown. The dental crowns work as a pair to support the “pontic” (floating) dental crown between them. Once fixed onto the supporting teeth or dental implants, the permanently cemented restoration becomes a natural-looking part of your smile.
Fixed bridges serve a dual purpose, as the dental crowns on the ends of the restoration help protect the prepared tooth they fit on top of. If those supporting teeth have worn enamel or a chipped area, the crown protects them while also filling in the open space caused by your missing tooth.
To Cover a Dental Implant
Sometimes damaged teeth are removed because they’re past the point of restoring. At that time, our Camas dentist might recommend placing a dental implant to fill in the open space. But dental implants are only the “root” portion of your new tooth. All dental implants also need a permanent crown placed on top of them, to fill in the visible and functional portion of your tooth replacement.
Dr. Bharathi will take impressions of your implant abutments and have our dental laboratory create special, all-ceramic crowns to fit on top of your new restorations. The natural color match allows your complete implant crown type to blend in with your other teeth.
For Concealing Severely Discolored Teeth
Smile makeovers boost your oral health as well as your self-confidence. But when aesthetic issues like a severe stain or misshaped enamel can’t be covered with dental veneers (because of the shape of your tooth) ceramic dental crowns are best.
Each porcelain crown is crafted for optimal aesthetics as well as durability. When Dr. Bharathi places it over your tooth, it conceals all deep staining or other aesthetic irregularities. Each one is specifically shaped and colored to conceal the concerns of the underlying tooth. In fact, they can be paired together with veneers if needed, when addressing cosmetic issues in multiple teeth.
Preserve Natural Teeth to Avoid Extraction
If you have a broken or severely chipped tooth, visit our dentist’s office immediately. It’s important to address the damaged tooth’s pulp as quickly as possible. Root canal therapy may be recommended, depending on the severity of the damage. This step, along with a protective porcelain crown, will help you avoid further damage or the need for complete extraction.
While some people feel like the fastest solution is to have their tooth pulled, the American Association of Endodontists recommends preserving natural teeth when possible. Especially when it’s in the best interest of the patient. If you have questions about whether or not your tooth can be saved with a dental crown, be sure to talk to Dr. Bharathi about your concerns.
Custom Dental Crowns in Camas, WA
Radiance Dental in Camas, Washington offers custom porcelain crowns that rebuild and restore your smile. Whether you have a cracked tooth or old resin crowns that need to be changed out with something permanent, Dr. Bharathi will provide you with a permanent crown that is strong and attractive. With good dental hygiene practices, our permanent crowns can last for several years at a time. Contact Radiance Dental today to reserve your next appointment.