What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a tooth-like cap that is used to cover an existing tooth to restore its function and aesthetic appearance. The Crown is cemented into position and covers the entire portion of the tooth that is visible above the gum line.
It is typically recommended as a viable treatment option for protecting a badly damaged or decayed tooth. The dentist may suggest the Dental Crown if your tooth has lost too much structure such that a regular filling does not provide the required strength and protection. The Dental Crown not only helps to protect the tooth from further disruption and deterioration, it also preserves its structural integrity.
Which type of patients needs crowns?
The dental crown is a highly versatile restorative procedure that can be used for a host of situations. There are many reasons why a dentist may suggest a dental crown to address your particular needs.
You would make a prime candidate if you have:
Chipped, cracked, broken or fractured teeth: If you leave a damaged or injured tooth untreated, the tooth may deteriorate further leading to oral health issues. Dental crowns can help to stabilise the tooth structure while distributing the load stresses that come from biting and chewing. The custom-made dental cap also helps to improve the tooth’s overall bite quality and appearance.
Large dental fillings: Large fillings can render the remaining tooth structure vulnerable to chips and fractures. A dental crown can help to restore the strength of your weakened tooth’s dental walls and protect its underlying structure from further damage.
Post-root canal therapy: Root canal therapy is used to remove infected pulp and nerve tissue. Following a root canal procedure, a dental crown is often placed over the treated tooth to restore its strength, function and appearance.
Severe tooth decay: A dental crown can help to minimise the unwanted consequences of a bad decay, including a painful infection and tooth loss.
Missing teeth: Used in conjunction with dental implants, dental crowns make a viable tooth replacement option.
Cosmetic issues: The dental crown can be customised to conform to the desired shape, size and colour of the treated tooth to enhance its appearance. It can also be used to treat severe tooth discolouration and other cosmetic imperfections.
Why should people choose crowns compared to other treatments?
If your dentist has recommended dental crowns as a solution but you are not sure what the alternatives are, we will try to provide you some information in this section. From the outset, it is important to note that while there are other treatment approaches, there is currently no exact equivalent to a dental crown. That said, there are other types of dental restorations that can restore beauty and function to damaged teeth.
Crowns vs Fillings
Dental Fillings is the most common and basic dental restoration for replacing the decayed portion of a tooth with composite or amalgam material. In cases where the area of decay is not too large, fillings may adequately fill the cavity and stabilise the tooth structure. If a substantial portion of the tooth is missing, a dental crown provides a more stable and permanent solution.
Crowns vs Inlays/Onlays
Similar to crowns, inlays and onlays are also used to cover an existing tooth that is beyond the repair of regular fillings. While an inlay is only used to treat decay on the cusp or chewing surfaces of the tooth, onlays are used on larger areas – hence sometimes referred to as partial crowns.
Although an onlay may be considered a less aggressive method – in that the procedure requires less tooth structure to be removed – a crown offers more comprehensive protection and cover.
Compared to inlay and onlay treatments, a crown procedure is more likely to be covered by private health insurance, hence require less out-of-pocket expenses for insured patients.