If dental decay, cracked fillings, clenching, grinding of the teeth, or root canals have caused extensive damage to your tooth’s structure, a dental filling may not be an adequate repair. The only way to fully restore the tooth’s cosmetic appearance and function is often with dental crowns. The good news is that after Dr. Joseph Ayoub completes the dental crown treatment, it looks and feels like a natural tooth.
In addition to restoring or repairing a single natural tooth, Dr. Ayoub may use dental crowns in other dental treatments, including covering dental implants, being the supporting ends of dental bridges, or as coverage for a cracked or chipped tooth to prevent further damage. Dr. Ayoub may also use a dental crown to restore a stained or discolored tooth to its natural appearance. Dental crowns can be made of porcelain fused to metal, all-porcelain, or a ceramic, zirconia material that blends naturally with your teeth and gums.
What is a Dental Crown?
A “dental crown” is a familiar term for most people, though sometimes called a “cap.” There are two uses for the term crown in dentistry. First, we use the word crown to describe the anatomical portion of each tooth that protrudes out of the gums and bone. The crown does not include the tooth’s roots, and enamel covers the entire crown in a healthy tooth.
A crown can also refer to a specific dental restoration that covers the complete anatomical crown of a tooth.
Common Reasons A Dental Crown Is Needed
Your tooth may need a dental crown for various reasons, such as to replace the enamel covering of a tooth, when the enamel no longer performs its function. In addition, enamel is susceptible to cracking, acid erosion, and tooth decay or cavities. These dental issues may lead to patients needing a new dental crown. Here are some common reasons patients from Huntington, South Huntington, Melville, and many surrounding areas seek dental crown treatment with our cosmetic and implant dentist at Dentistry By Design, PC.
Large Tooth Cavities
Bacterial infections of the enamel and other substances that make up the tooth. Bacteria eat sugar and produce acid as a byproduct, which can dissolve tooth enamel and allow the bacteria to penetrate the tooth. As a cavity grows, the tooth’s enamel weakens until it can’t support healthy chewing function. Dr. Ayoub will evaluate the cavity’s size and the remaining tooth structure to determine whether the tooth will require a dental filling or a crown.
Large Dental Fillings
While dental fillings are a popular treatment to replace tooth structure lost to tooth decay, it does not add strength to a tooth. Therefore, a dental crown may be necessary to cover a tooth if a large dental filling is needed. A tooth filling simply fills in the hole. Therefore, a dental crown may be necessary to prevent further damage when a large filling makes up more than half of the tooth.
Heavy Clenching & Teeth Grinding
Another area of significant enamel loss is the mechanical wear and tear from heavy clenching or grinding during sleep. Heavy clenching and grinding lead to the shortening and flattening of the teeth as the tooth’s enamel slowly wears away. As with acid erosion, rebuilding these teeth helps prevent further damage and eventual loss.
While cracks are more likely to develop on teeth with large fillings, they can also occur in otherwise healthy teeth. Cracks are most common in the back molars of individuals who grind or clench their teeth while they sleep. When a tooth cracks, the damage to enamel allows both temperature sensations and bacteria to penetrate the tooth’s surface. A cracked tooth often leads to cavities and sensitivity to cold and chewing forces.
Root Canal Treatment
A problem tooth that undergoes a root canal procedure usually needs full coverage with a dental crown. A root canal treatments remove the nerves and blood from the hollow chamber inside a tooth, therefore a dental crown is necessary to cover the tooth. Without a blood supply, teeth become brittle. A dental crown covering is necessary to prevent further breakage after a root canal treatment.