How Do I Know if I Need a Dental Crown?

  • Mar 26 2024

When it comes to restorative dental procedures, the dental crown is among the most popular and most versatile. These customized restorations are capable of addressing significant tooth damage or decay in order to restore both form and function to your smile. 

But even with all of that said, how do you know when a crown would be the best option for your particular dental issues? If you’re dealing with a damaged, decayed, or otherwise problematic tooth, speaking with your dentist about potential solutions is always the wisest first step.

If you’re feeling anxious, curious, or both while you await your appointment, have a look at the following guide to dental crowns to learn more:

What is a dental crown?

First and foremost, a dental crown (sometimes referred to as a dental cap) is a prosthetic device that’s designed to look, feel, and function just like a natural tooth. It can be fitted over a significantly decayed or damaged tooth to provide support, protect what’s left of the remaining tooth, and restore the appearance of your smile.

Uses of a Dental Crown

Dental crowns are versatile restorations that can help avoid the need for teeth extractions by protecting those that may otherwise be unsalvageable. Your dentist might recommend a crown in the following situations:

Significant Tooth Damage

A small chip can often be treated with some dental bonding, and minor damage to cusps or bite surfaces can usually be addressed with either an inlay or onlay. However, when the damage is significant, odds are you’re going to need a dental crown. A heavily cracked, chipped, or outright broken tooth is not only susceptible to further damage, but it’s also a lot more likely to become infected. Crowns, thankfully, can prevent both of these issues.

Extensive Tooth Decay

The standard treatment for tooth decay is a dental filling, in which your dentist removes the decayed section of your tooth and fills the gap with a special material like metal amalgam or composite resin. However, if the decay is allowed to progress enough, a filling might leave the tooth too structurally weak, meaning a dental crown may be necessary to prevent further issues.

Protecting Teeth With Large Fillings

If a tooth has a large filling or multiple fillings at once, it can become structurally weak. In these cases, a dental crown will likely be necessary to reinforce the tooth and prevent it from breaking down or becoming infected.

Protecting Teeth That Received a Root Canal

When a tooth becomes infected, a root canal procedure is required to remove the infected pulp and prevent further issues. During the procedure, your dentist will clean out the inner tooth and refill it with a special, rubber-like material. 

While a root canal can be a great way to save a natural tooth, it can also leave it vulnerable to future damage or decay. In order to protect a tooth that has received a root canal, your dentist will often recommend a dental crown. It will cover the vulnerable tooth, provide extra support and protection, and help maintain a healthy appearance.

Is a dental crown for me?

There are many instances in which a dental crown can mean the difference between restoring your smile to its former glory and losing your tooth altogether. Whether that’s the case for your particular dental issue is going to depend on which tooth needs restoration, the extent of its damage, and the opinion of your dentist. 

If you’re currently dealing with a damaged or decayed tooth, Dr. Payam Cohen and the team at Forest Hills Dentistry can help to determine what sort of treatment is best for you. At our office, we have a state-of-the-art “3Shape Trios”  scanner and we do impressionless crowns. These metal-free crowns are designed and milled via the aid of CAD/CAM technology and computers for a very precise fit and comfort.  Schedule an appointment today.

Categories: General Dentistry