Dental crowns provide an extra layer of protection for teeth that can’t be repaired with a smaller filling. Depending on your circumstances, a crown may or may not be the best solution. If you’re trying to decide what to do next, here are a few situations where our dentist in Mission Valley will likely recommend a crown (“cap”).
1. If Your Tooth is Severely Broken, Cracked, or Worn
What is a dental crown? Essentially, it’s a restoration that acts like a shell or helmet that goes around your tooth and protects it from breaking down during normal use. If you have a tooth that is already structurally unsound, a crown helps extend its overall lifespan.
Why not a filling, you ask? Because fillings need enough healthy tooth structure around them to hold them into place. If there is little tooth to work with, placing a large filling would allow the remaining enamel to crack or break from normal biting and chewing pressure. A crown helps to make sure you can continue eating like normal without having to worry about your tooth fracturing.
2. After Endodontic Therapy
A crown after root canal treatment is fairly standard procedure. Since endodontic therapy removes the nerve and blood vessels inside of your tooth, the tooth is technically no longer alive. This scenario means that the remaining tooth structure typically becomes a bit drier and more brittle than normal, which can put it at risk of fracturing or wearing down prematurely. By placing a crown over all root canal-treated teeth, we can prolong the function of your natural smile.
In most cases your tooth will be prepped for a crown as part of the root canal, then an impression taken for our lab. The permanent crown will be ready for placement within about two weeks. In the meantime, we’ll fit you with a temporary crown to wear to protect your endodontically-treated tooth.
3. On Top of a Dental Implant
If you’re replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant, you’ll still need a restoration to go on top of the implant. After all, the implant itself is simply an artificial tooth root. A crown will serve both functional as well as aesthetic purposes, as it completes the implant restoration. When you smile or eat, no one should be able to tell that you’ve had an implant or crown placed in that location, since it will blend in with the teeth on either side.
Along the same lines, if you’re replacing more than one tooth with an implant, we will usually recommend a pair of implants with a dental bridge (instead of a crown) to fill in the larger space.
4. You Don’t Qualify for a Dental Veneer
Are you planning to transform your teeth with a smile makeover? If you have a tooth that is structurally compromised—perhaps it’s cracked or decayed—a dental veneer may not be appropriate. Fortunately, dental crowns can be created in a way that restores your tooth and is still aesthetically attractive. So, if you have a tooth that isn’t healthy enough for a veneer, we can potentially match a crown to that space instead.
5. Replacing a Large, Leaky Filling
Dental restorations only last so long. Over time, old metal fillings can begin to leak and pull away from your tooth, creating “leaky margins” where bacteria seep inside. Changing them out with a new filling would weaken the tooth too much (predisposing it to breakage). Instead, a crown will help cover and protect the tooth that’s left, allowing us to prolong its function and avoid a root canal or extraction.
Dental Crowns in Mission Valley
When do you need a dental crown? Any time a tooth is not stable enough to restore with a filling, or if you’re replacing it with a dental implant. Cassell Dentistry offers quality restorative and cosmetic dental crowns in Mission Valley. Contact us today to reserve a new patient appointment.