At Smiles of West Point, our patients are treated like royalty. And sometimes that means you might get to wear a crown! Although dental crowns aren’t necessarily regal, they are still a very valuable resource that can be used to treat a variety of problems you may be experiencing with your teeth.
Dental crowns can be described as caps that cover your teeth. Unlike a veneer, which the dentist will bond to the front surface of the tooth, a crown surrounds the entire tooth. Crowns are used to correct broken teeth as long as there’s enough surface left to attach to it. They are often used to strengthen and build up teeth that have some kind of wear or damage.
Dental crowns are typically placed over molars, the teeth in the back of your mouth. However, there are instances where crowns are placed on front teeth, as well.
Crowns are made of porcelain and can be created in several shades to match the color of your natural teeth. In some cases, dental crowns are installed to cover stains and atypical tooth shapes.
Stains, chips, and injuries that cause a cosmetic issue with your teeth may require a veneer to improve their condition. However, if a tooth is presenting with decay or significant damage, it will need protection from all angles and will more than likely require a dental crown, which provides more protection than a veneer.
In other words, the primary function of a dental crown is to restore the shape and size of a tooth so that it looks great and functions optimally. Dental crowns may be used for the following dental issues:
• Reinforcing the structure of a weakened tooth, holding it together
• Preventing breakage on vulnerable teeth
• Restoring a broken tooth
• Building up the surface of a tooth that has eroded from grinding
• Strengthen a tooth after a root canal
Dental crowns can also be used to secure dental implants, bridges, or dentures. If this is the case, the teeth that are crowned may not be broken or damaged. The dental crown is applied over these teeth as a secure location where the artificial teeth or apparatus will connect.
Hello, I’m Dr. Marc Barrett. I work in West Point, Virginia, for The Smile Group, which is based in Williamsburg, Virginia. I’m giving a little talk about when we would do a filling versus a dental crown. Now, a dental crown you would have to reduce the tooth, and then you make something that slides over the tooth that is on permanently. So imagine you had that tooth there and then you had a single crown here and you’d put that on and it gives it full protection when you bite down. When you have to recreate anatomy, if there’s so much of the tooth structure that is gone or undermined, that is when you need a crown, especially in the molar area, where you generate more bite force. You generate more force here than you do in the front and you need to protect the front teeth because those are not designed to take all that force as opposed to the back teeth. Now, a filling by definition fills a hole, so if you have a conservative hole and you take out some decay or some chips, then we make a small - we clean out the bad stuff and if you have four walls that will help hold that filling in, that is when we will do fillings. Sometimes it’s a little bit large but what you don’t want to do is recreate anatomy with filling material because eventually, it will fail. And that’s the threshold between when we do a crown versus a filling.
If any of the above issues are affecting you, dental crowns may be the solution. Our skilled dentist and the rest of our highly-trained team can see you for a comprehensive examination and determine if a crown is right for you.
Once you make the decision to move forward with getting a dental crown, the existing tooth must be prepared adequately to support it. This usually involves drilling out decay and sometimes, may require a root canal. In some instances, Dr. Barrett may need to fill the existing tooth to improve the structure and ensure that the dental crown bonds properly.
A 3-D digital scan will be used to create an impression of your mouth, which will allow us to create your crown. We will cement this dental crown to your tooth, creating a permanent bond that will positively affect your ability to chew and talk.
Dental crowns should be cared for in the same way that you care for your natural teeth. Avoid hard foods that could cause damage to your crowns and natural teeth, and brush and floss around the crown regularly. Crowns that are properly cared for can last 15 - 30 years. Regular exams done by your dentist will help them to keep an eye on the condition of your dental crown and hopefully avoid any complications. You can contact Smiles of West Point today to set up an appointment and see if a dental crown is the best option for you.