Are dental crowns important? Pasadena dentist explains the reasons why
Dental crowns are one of the most common dental restorations used by dentists throughout the world. At Pasadena Prosthodontics, we receive many questions from patients about the purpose of crowns, whether they are really necessary, and if there are alternatives. Below, Dr. Marchack answers all your questions about dental crowns and explains why they are important.
What are dental crowns?
Dental crowns are also called “tooth caps,” and they are just that—a cap that is placed over a tooth that has been damaged or otherwise needs restoration. Crowns can be made from several different materials, including all-metal, all-porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, and resin. Before a dental crown is placed, the underlying tooth is prepped by the dentist by shaping it so that the crown will fit in seamlessly with your smile.
When dental crowns may be recommended
Patients may wonder whether crowns are necessary for their unique tooth situation. At Pasadena Prosthodontics, we provide honest, ethical care. That means that if one of our dentists recommends a crown, it is the restoration that will work best to protect your tooth and will provide the optimal look and function for your specific needs. Common reasons that a crown may be recommended generally fall into one of two categories: for restorative purposes (i.e., something is wrong with the tooth) or for cosmetic purposes (to make the tooth look better). Specific scenarios include:
- The tooth is weakened due to cracks or other damage: When a tooth becomes cracked or sustains other damage due to traumatic injury or decay, a crown may be necessary to boost the tooth’s stability, restore its structure, and protect it from further damage.
- The tooth has become weak due to large fillings or multiple prior restorations: When multiple fillings have been placed in a tooth over time or a very large filling is needed, it weakens the structure of the tooth. Over time, the tooth may become sufficiently weakened that it needs a dental crown to restore its function.
- A dental implant has been placed: Dental implants are a terrific way to restore missing teeth; after the dental implant (which looks like a post) has been placed in your jawbone and heals, a dental crown is commonly used for the replacement tooth on top of the implant.
- A root canal has been performed: After a root canal, the tooth that has been treated naturally becomes weaker and more brittle due to the lack of a nerve and pulp. Dental crowns help protect the treated tooth and restore its natural function and ability to withstand bite forces so you can enjoy your favorite foods.
- The tooth’s aesthetics can be improved: If a tooth is severely discolored and cannot be fixed with teeth whitening treatments, or if it is otherwise misshapen or has other aesthetic issues, a dental crown can be a good option in some cases to improve the tooth’s appearance and fit in better with your smile
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There are also several other reasons for placing a dental crown, such as to anchor a dental bridge. Our dentists are always happy to explain the reason they are recommending a dental crown to a patient.
Alternatives to dental crowns
In some cases, there are suitable alternatives to dental crowns that can resolve your dental issues. These may include:
- Placing an onlay or a ¾ crown
- Using a filling to restore the tooth
- Using a porcelain veneer on the affected tooth
- Extracting the tooth and replacing it with a restoration such as a dental implant
When there are one or more viable options for repairing or restoring your tooth besides a dental crown, Dr. Marchack will tell you about your choices and walk through the pros and cons of each so that you can make a fully informed decision about your treatment. At Pasadena Prosthodontics, we always encourage our patients to ask as many questions as they want until they are comfortable with their treatment plan and know what to expect before, during, and after any dental procedures.
Learn more in a consultation
Dr. Christopher Marchack is a prosthodontist, which means he has the specialized training needed to perform oral restorations such as the placement of crowns with the utmost precision and skill. Dr. Baldwin Marchack is a general dentist who is skilled to do crown placements as well. If you have been suffering from tooth pain or have an old dental restoration that doesn’t feel quite right anymore, we encourage you to call us today at 855.770.3737 to schedule consultations with Dr. Baldwin and Dr. Christopher Marchack. Your oral health is in good hands at Pasadena Prosthodontics!
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