How to Protect Your Teeth

Instances When A Dental Crown Is Needed

Dental crowns can play different roles in the restoration of your teeth. The devices, which are designed to cover the entire exposed area of the tooth that lies above the gum line, can be made of multiple materials, depending on the desired cosmetic and restorative finish. Here are a few examples of the reasons for a dental crown application:

Trauma-based Tooth Damage

When you incur damage to a tooth due to physical trauma, the natural crown of a tooth may be compromised. You may suffer a cracked or broken tooth. Although you may feel that the damage is minimal and does not need to be covered by a crown, it is best to have your dentist assess the tooth to determine if it needs to be capped. 

Cracks can sometimes look superficial but actually be deep enough to allow the entry of oral bacteria into the deeper layers of the tooth. Since a tooth infection could result in the loss of a tooth or necessitate an invasive dental procedure, such as a root canal, your dentist may cap the tooth to prevent microbial access to the pulp or innermost layer of the tooth.

In addition, some cracks can worsen if left uncovered. What may begin as a small line on the surface of a tooth may continue to grow, eventually extended through the tooth. Once a tooth is fully divided by a crack through its dental roots, the tooth must be extracted. There is no other treatment option available for it.

Cosmetic Issues

Crowns may also be used to cover natural cosmetic issues. If a tooth is misshapen and does not match the size or shape of other teeth in your mouth, a crown can correct the irregular appearance of the tooth. Since crowns that are made of resin, porcelain or porcelain-over-metal can be colored to match the natural color of surrounding teeth, cosmetic crown restorations usually look quite natural. 

Crowns are also appropriate for covering dental discoloration that is unresponsive to chemical dental bleaches. Although food-based discoloration can often be whitened by dental bleaching, discoloration that is not due to pigments becoming trapped within the pores of the teeth may be permanent. People with birth defects that cause dental discoloration or who have incurred darkened teeth as a side effect of medicines, such as tetracycline, may also require dental crowns or other applications that conceal the discoloration to improve the look of their teeth.

For more information about dental crowns and why they may be used, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your area.