Despite their name, dental crowns are not only for royalty. Nevertheless, dental crowns can make your smile look as glamorous as royalty. A dental crown is a hollow cap made to fit over the top of an existing tooth. The outside of the crown is sculpted and polished so that it resembles the natural color, shape, and translucence of the surrounding teeth. When appropriately placed, a dental crown placed on one or more teeth can provide a dramatic smile makeover. In fact, here are five things a dental crown can fix:
One common problem that dental crowns can fix is tooth decay. While small areas of decay can be restored using dental fillings, large areas of decay can compromise the structural integrity of the tooth. For this reason, a dental crown may be placed over the tooth to provide support and protection in cases where a significant amount of decayed tissue is removed. Dental crowns are also placed following root canal treatment to remove a pulp infection. Having a dental crown placed preserves the remaining healthy tissue, as well as the tooth root.
Teeth weakened by decay are more likely to crack or chip when exposed to large amounts of force. Even healthy teeth can be damaged from accidents. Superficial cracks or chips can usually be repaired with composite resin, however cracks or chips that are deep enough to reach the inside of the tooth are generally restored with a dental crown. In some cases, root canal treatment may also be needed if bacteria have entered the pulp chamber. Much like for decayed teeth, dental crowns provide additional protection and support for broken teeth.
In some cases, teeth are free from both decay and damage, but may have other types of imperfections. Some common imperfections include: discolored or stained teeth, oddly shaped teeth, teeth that are too small, or unevenly sized teeth. While these are considered cosmetic concerns, they can still be remedied using dental crowns. In fact, placing dental crowns over stained, oddly shaped, unevenly sized, or too small teeth can dramatically change the entire appearance of your smile.
An Uneven Bite
Beyond simply improving the appearance of your smile, placing dental crowns can also help to even out an uneven bite. For example, teeth that are unevenly sized can cause the bite to also be uneven since the opposing teeth don’t meet up properly. Therefore, by using dental crowns to make the teeth all one size, the opposing teeth will be able to meet properly and make the overall bite more even. This will also take pressure off the jaw joint and reduce the risk of TMD.
Tooth sensitivity is described as a deep, throbbing pain that occurs when the teeth are exposed to hot, cold, or sweet. One of the main causes of tooth sensitivity is excessively worn enamel that no longer prevents stimuli from entering the tooth. Placing a dental crown over a worn tooth can reduce tooth sensitivity since the dental crown will essentially act as protective armor for the tooth.
How is a dental crown placed?
Dental crowns are placed over the course of two appointments. During the first appointment, the affected tooth will be prepared for the placement of a dental crown. Before starting, your dentist will administer dental anesthetics to numb your mouth. Then, any decayed and damaged tissue will be removed, and the entire tooth will be shaped to accommodate the crown. Once the tooth has been prepared, a dental impression will be taken of your mouth. This information is sent to a dental laboratory where your crown will be custom fabricated to fit inside your mouth flawlessly. In the meantime, you will be fit with a temporary crown to preserve the necessary amount of space and protect your tooth. During your second appointment, the temporary crown will be removed and replaced with your permanent crown.
Dr. Sadati possesses extensive experience in all aspects of advanced restorative dentistry, with an emphasis in cosmetic and implant dentistry. He has attained Accredited Fellow status in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the most rigorous, demanding credentialing process in the world. He is the only AACD Accredited Fellow in South Florida.