There are many reasons dental crowns are an effective choice for repairing damaged teeth and restoring a confident smile. A dental crown is a protective cap that encases an entire tooth, supporting and protecting it as well as improving its appearance, size, shape or strength. A dental crown can be colour-matched to your natural teeth so that it’s unnoticeable in your mouth, and is a durable and long-lasting solution to unsightly dental problems.
Dental crowns are a fantastic option for repairing dental problems – but are they the best option for you? A dental crown might be a great choice for you if you meet some of the following criteria.
You have dental problems such as:
- Discoloured teeth
- Fractured, chipped or broken teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Weak teeth
- Seriously decayed teeth
- Fillings that are weakening the teeth walls
If any of these problems are making you embarrassed about your smile, you’re probably a good candidate for a dental crown.
You’re planning a root canal
A root canal treatment involves the removal of infected or damaged material from inside a tooth through a small hole drilled in the tooth. Once this procedure has been carried out, a dental crown is needed to restore the tooth and strengthen it so that it can be used effectively.
You have a very large cavity
Most tooth cavities can be treated with a simple filling, but if you have a tooth with an especially large cavity, a filling may not be enough to treat the problem effectively. In such cases, a dentist may prefer to treat the tooth with a crown rather than a filling. Crowns can also be used in cases where a tooth has undergone multiple fillings.
You have a dental implant that needs covering
Dental implants are basically artificial teeth that can replace missing or extensively damaged natural teeth. The implant is constructed of two parts – a titanium post which is surgically inserted into the gum, and an artificial tooth construction such as a crown, which is attached to the post.
You have cosmetic dental issues
Issues such as severe tooth discolouration, gappy teeth or excessively short or oddly-shaped teeth, could be treated with a dental crown to improve the appearance, as well as the function, of the tooth.
You have at least a third of the affected tooth still intact
You’ll need at least part of the tooth to remain in order for a crown to be fitted. If not enough of your tooth remains to support a crown, you’ll need to have the tooth removed and consider another procedure, such as a dental implant or bridge.
You are in sufficiently good health to undergo a dental procedure
Your tooth will need to be modified to receive the crown, and you will need to be in sufficiently good health to be able to have this procedure. Your tooth will require preparation which is irreversible (grinding or polishing, which leads to a loss of healthy tooth tissue) in order for the crown to fit snugly.
You have healthy tooth structures and gum and jawbone tissues
If your crown will be attached to a tooth (rather than an implant post), you will need healthy tooth structures and tissues to proceed. A crown does not prevent decay and disease from happening, so you need to ensure that your oral problems have been dealt with before receiving the crown.
You are committed to maintaining good oral hygiene habits
Once you have a dental crown attached, you’ll need to commit to maintaining good oral hygiene habits for the rest of your life. If you rarely brush and hate flossing, a dental crown is not a good option for you, as crowns will not last nearly as long without proper care.
Maintain your oral health and ensure the longevity of your crown by:
- Brushing at least twice daily
- Flossing every day
- Using mouthwash
- Visiting your dentist for regular check-ups to ensure that your crown is functioning well
- Have your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year
- Avoiding chewing on hard objects or food
You can afford and are willing to replace the crown in the future
With proper care, crowns are a durable and long-lasting solution to your dental problems but will not last forever. Your crown will need to be replaced sometime in the future. This is not optional, as your tooth will have been reduced in size to fit the crown and will always need protection.