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When Are Dental Crowns Needed?
The dental crown is a common dental restoration option, but people are often confused about what they are and why they are sometimes needed. The dental crown is essentially a cap placed over a damaged tooth to repair and restore its strength; consequently, crowns improve a tooth's function and appearance. Continue reading to learn more about what a dental crown is, why you might need one and the processes involved.
The need for dental crowns
The dental crown is designed to extend the lifespan of a tooth for many years. They can restore the shape and size of a tooth, thus significantly improving its aesthetic appeal following initial damages. The following are several ways dental crowns are used to strengthen and improve the appearance of teeth.
Part of the root canal proceedure
Since the root canal procedure clears out the core of the tooth and makes it hollow, the remaining tooth structure is more prone to fracturing. Therefore, the dentist will place a crown on the tooth after a root canal to fortify the tooth and prevent breakage.
Repair a large cavity or filling
If cavities become so extensive that up to half of a tooth’s width is affected, a crown may be necessary for restoration because the healthy half of the tooth is most likely fragile and at risk of fracturing. Large fillings that are old need to be replaced with a crown when there are indications that the filling is stressed or fractured or if the original tooth has decayed further.
It is also possible to use dental crowns to improve the appearance of misshapen or discolored teeth. If teeth are unevenly spaced, placing crowns over them can make the smile look better. This dental restoration serves as an effective and conservative way to improve a flawed smile and boost the patient’s confidence.
Certain factors can cause teeth to become excessively worn, which may necessitate getting a crown. For instance, patients who suffer from teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism) can flatten the teeth over time. Also, gastrointestinal reflux and a highly acidic diet can lead to gradual erosion of tooth enamel. In these cases, getting a crown will stop further tooth deterioration and protect the teeth.
What to expect when getting dental crowns
Knowing what to expect during a dental crown procedure can help alleviate fear and prepare the patient. To start the process, the dentist will administer local anesthetic to reduce pain or discomfort. Depending on the physical state of the affected tooth, a composite filling might be needed to rebuild its structure so it can support the crown.
Afterward, the dentist will create space for the crown by shaving down part of the tooth enamel. Next, impressions of the tooth will be taken, and a shade guide will be used to ensure that the final restoration closely matches the rest of the teeth. The patient will wear a temporary crown until the permanent crown is ready.
Dental crowns are mainly used to protect teeth and improve appearance. If you think you might benefit from the procedure or have any questions, book an appointment with a general dentist to get started.
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