How to Protect Your Teeth

Do You Need To See A Prosthodontist Or General Dentist For A New Crown?

If a tooth has a large fracture or cavity, your dentist might recommend a crown instead of a filling to repair the structure. Many general dentists can prepare and place a crown, but some dentists might refer you to a crown specialist such as a prosthodontist if you have a more complex case. Prosthodontists are specialists who repair existing teeth and replace missing teeth with crowns, dentures, dental implants, etc. They may also address facial deformities in the jaw. Only your dentist can tell you whether you need a referral, but here are a few scenarios where you may need to see a crown specialist.

You Suffer from Bruxism

Bruxism is a disorder where a person habitually clenches and grinds their upper and lower teeth together. Bruxism can be caused by high stress levels, sleep apnea, improper bite formation, etc. Dental restorations, like crowns, are very strong, but they aren't as strong as your natural teeth, so the grinding forces from bruxism can potentially weaken or break the crown. A dentist might refer you to a prosthodontist to help you rehabilitate your bite and to consider the best crown materials that will work with this condition.

You Need Endodontic Work as Well

Like prosthodontics, endodontics is another dental specialty. This branch of dentistry focuses on injuries to the tissues inside the tooth. According to The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, teeth that have had endodontic treatment (e.g. root canal therapy) typically last longer when they have a crown placed afterward. If your family dentist doesn't focus on crown placement and/or root canal therapy, he may refer you to both an endodontist and a prosthodontist for the root canal and crown placement.

You are an Edentulous Patient

Edentulism means that a person is without natural teeth. Some patients are completely edentulous, while others may have a mixed dentition of gaps and natural teeth. If you have a natural tooth that needs a crown, but you have no adjacent teeth nearby, your dentist might recommend appliances such as bridges or partial dentures to fill in those gaps. These appliances need to fit around the crown of a natural tooth. In the case of a bridge, a crown may act as an anchor and connect to the pontic, or false tooth, of the bridge. A prosthodontist can be helpful since they can fit the crown and other appliances at the same time.

Reach out to a dental crown specialist in your area today to learn more.