In order to complete many of your dental restorations, your dentist may have to use a dental crown. A crown is actually a cap that fits over the natural crown, which is the portion of the tooth that is seen is above the gum line. Dental crowns can be made of many different materials, such as gold, silver amalgam, porcelain or resin. If you prefer that all of your teeth look natural, a tooth-colored material will likely be selected. However, other crown materials are frequently used for back teeth, since molars are not easily seen in your mouth.
Here are a few types of applications in which dental crowns are frequently necessary:
Root Canal Therapy
A root canal procedure includes the removal of the soft, living material that lies in the center of your tooth. A tooth has a layered construction, and the outer layers are quite hard. However, the inner layer or pulp is soft.
After the pulp is removed, a filling is added to the hollow tooth. However, the filling alone does not offer enough fortification or protection for the tooth. As a result, a dental crown is used to cover the treated tooth. Once the crown is in place, you are able to chew with the tooth as you did before the restorative procedure was needed.
A Sizeable Cavity
Small cavities can often be treated using a filling alone. However, large holes can compromise the integrity of a tooth, making it more apt to crack from bite pressure. Thus, a dental crown may be needed to provide additional strength and support. The crown is applied after the decay has been removed and the filling has been added.
Chips and Cracks
If a tooth is damaged by trauma, it may need to be covered. Some people feel uncomfortable with the appearance of their chipped tooth. In other instances, the chip or crack may extend deep into the chip structure. A crown can restore the appearance of a damaged tooth and protect it from bacterial entry. If oral bacteria gain access to the interior chambers of a tooth, an infection may result, which could make a root canal or an extraction necessary.
Dental crowns have a wide range of applications. If you require restorative dental work and would like to learn more about the dental crown options that may be available for your specific needs, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your local area.