Monday, November 15, 2010

Do I need a crown?

The question of whether or not a tooth needs a crown can be a bit confusing.  There are many reasons to get a dental crown.  If there is a substantial amount of tooth gone or badly decayed, a crown can act as a binder to hold the tooth together during times when pressure is put on the tooth, like chewing,  If a tooth is cracked, it may also need to have that hard outer shell that a crown provides to give strength to the tooth to prevent further fracture.  Another indication for crowns is after a root canal.  After a root canal teeth can become brittle, due to the removal of blood supply to the tooth when the nerve is removed.  A crown is not always necessary in these cases but clinical judgement is necessary to determine whether a crown is necessary or not.  I look at the bite of the patient, the size of the filling in the tooth, and discuss the patient's dental habits to decide.  Dental habits could include teeth grinding, ice chewing, and dietary considerations.  A crown can be considered sometimes to simply make a tooth look better.  Crowns can be made with all porcelain and look very natural even beside teeth without crowns.

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