If one of your natural teeth has been damaged, your dentist assesses the tooth and presents you with the most suitable restorative option. In many cases, a dentist prescribes a dental crown when the integrity of a tooth has been compromised. Here are a few reasons why.
A dental crown reinforces the damaged tooth material to make additional injury from the bite force of mastication less likely. Instead of only supporting a single side of the tooth, the crown surrounds the entire portion of the tooth that is visible in the mouth. Thus, weak spots are fortified.
Bite force is not the only potential issue for a damaged tooth. If a tooth is chipped, cracked, or decayed, microorganisms within the oral cavity may invade the tooth structure. By entering the tooth, the organisms can cause a dental infection.
The tooth is made up of several layers. The outermost layer, which is the enamel, gives the tooth its white, shiny appearance. Below the enamel is the dentin, which has a dull, yellow coloring. The innermost layer of the tooth is the pulp, which houses the blood supply and nerves of the tooth.
The pulp is the softest layer of the tooth. It can easily become inflamed when an infection is present. In fact, the inflammation can be so severe that the pulp dies, requiring a root canal to salvage the tooth.
Still, even after a root canal, a dental crown is necessary to reinforce and protect the tooth from further harm.
A tooth that has been damaged may appear misshapen and discolored. A dental crown can restore the appearance of the tooth.
The crown is created from a mold or digital image of the oral cavity, allowing the device to fit seamlessly in the mouth. Also, if a tooth-colored crown is selected, the color of the crown can be matched to the color of the patient's other healthy teeth. As a result, once the crown is in place, the results of the restoration look completely natural.
Dental crowns also allow the dentist to tailor a restoration to the budget and aesthetic needs of the patient. For back teeth, the dentist may suggest a metal crown to reduce costs, while still offering protection and fortification for a tooth. However, crowns that are made of a tooth-colored material, such as porcelain or resin, may be preferred for the teeth that are seen when the patient smiles.
To learn more about dental crowns, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.