Think of a crown like a protective shell that fits over a tooth. A crown may be recommended when a filling is not enough to repair extensive decay, replace large fillings, repair a broken, brittle or cracked tooth (due to a root canal or other reasons), or if a tooth is especially sensitive. They sometimes cover dental implants or adjacent teeth when fitting a bridge
A restorative crown replaces the enamel of a tooth in order to protect, cover, seal and strengthen the tooth. Crowns can be made of many materials – Groton Wellness Dentists recommend using non-metal crowns. The specific material will be chosen based on strength, biocompatibility, and esthetics.
Our doctors can ascertain the best method of treatment upon evaluation, but there are several cases in which crowns are almost universally recommended:
- For deep decay. Fillings will not stay in a tooth that has had deep decay. The tooth structure is often weakened, and so removal of decay followed by a crown to stabilize the tooth is usually required.
- To replace large, old fillings. Sometimes older fillings wear out or get decay around them. When a larger old filling is causing problems, the surrounding tooth is sometimes not strong enough to withstand another filling.
- For Repair of a broken, brittle or cracked tooth. Once a tooth is cracked, a filling cannot seal it and it is often painful to bite on that tooth. When a tooth breaks, it may not be possible to save it. The best preventative measure in both scenarios is to have the damaged tooth crowned.
- To protect very sensitive teeth. Heat and cold sensitivity is such a pain – literally. If your teeth are “worn” or if receded gums have caused extreme sensitivity, a crown can help seal and protect your sensitive teeth.
- After root canal therapy. While we do not perform root canals at the Groton Wellness. For patients who have had root canals elsewhere, a crown is necessary to support and cover the “dead” tooth, which becomes increasingly brittle without healthy “roots”.
Cosmetic crowns, also called “caps”, are seldom used due to the advent of veneers. However, if a tooth is damaged enough to become unstable, a crown may be used instead of a veneer for added support of the tooth.