The Many Different Hats A Dental Crown Wears

Tooth Colored Fillings | 3 | Nashua Family Dentistry, Nashua NH

Many dental treatments are designed to fix one thing. But dental crowns wear many hats. They are one of the most versatile dental treatments available. That’s probably why so many people choose crowns to help their smiles.

What Is A Dental Crown?

This is a combination of cosmetic and restorative treatment. The crown itself is made to order. It has the shape and color to look like a healthy tooth. It’s placed over the visible part of your tooth, covering that completely. The dental crown procedure is routine and simple. But why get one? Here are the different scenarios where dental crowns can work wonders for your smile.

  • Protect a tooth with thin or worn enamel. If you grind your teeth a lot, you could have a condition called bruxism. With this, you grind your teeth without realizing it. This is especially true at night. Bruxism wears down your enamel, creating weak spots that are susceptible to cavities and damage. Then again, some people are just born with some teeth that have thin enamel. Regardless of why, dental crowns can help. Because they sit over your teeth, they can add a strong layer of protection.
  • Cover intrinsic stains or similar cosmetic problem. When your teeth are stained, teeth whitening will help. Unless you have intrinsic stains, that is. These are stains deep within your enamel. Teeth whitening cannot penetrate that deeply, so the stain cannot be removed. The only way to cover it up is through a dental crown. The same is true for problems like chips or cracks. If you have a problem with the shape of your teeth, crowns will help. They will cover all imperfections, giving you a beautiful-looking tooth as soon as they are placed.
  • Repair a cavity too big for fillings, inlays, or onlays. When harmful bacteria reside on your enamel, they cause decay. The decayed enamel grows bigger and bigger every day. What starts out as a small cavity can eventually turn into a huge one. Not only can this cause an infection in the pulp, you could fracture your tooth. Either one is uniquely painful. Normally, you get a metal-free filling, inlay, or onlay from our Nashua, NH dental office to repair a cavity. When it gets too big, those treatments will not work. Even if they could fill up or cover that much damaged enamel, your tooth is still at risk for cracking open. The only way to help repair a cavity that big is through a dental crown. This will seal up the damaged area, preventing it from growing any bigger. It also holds onto all sides of a tooth firmly. This makes sure you can use the tooth normally without a threat of it cracking open.
  • Repair severe damage caused by an accident or injury. The enamel covering your teeth is incredibly strong. Think about it. You chew many times each day, every day. That means you’re mashing your teeth together each day, every day. Tough is not the same thing and impervious. If you have a bad spill on a bike or get hit in the mouth by a foul ball or slapshot gone wide, you could easily crack or break a tooth. If you’re fortunate, you just have an ugly looking tooth. If not, you could have a tooth at risk for being removed. A dental crown can help in both cases. It seals up damage so the tooth looks normal again. It also keeps a tooth together, protecting it so you don’t have to get it removed.
  • Hold a dental bridge in place. Speaking of removing teeth, sometimes there’s no getting past it. Other times, an injury knocks out a tooth or you lost one for any number of reasons. Without a tooth in that space, you are at risk for several problems. Food can collect there, increasing your chances at tooth decay and gum disease near the gap. Your other teeth can start to slide towards the gap as well. An affordable way to replace a missing tooth that doesn’t require surgery is a dental bridge. Two crowns are placed on the teeth next to the gap. The crowns hold onto a replacement tooth (which is technically a crown as well).  
  • Replace a missing tooth as part of a dental implant. Dental bridges are great, but they do not last for very long. Most bridges will need replacing in roughly 10 years or so. For a more permanent and stable option, you can get a dental implant instead. Our dentists will surgically implant a titanium root that mimics your natural tooth’s root. Once healed, a dental crown is placed on the root.

If you have any questions about how dental crowns can save your teeth and smile, call us at 603-546-7460.

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