Dental crowns are very versatile. They can be used in many common situations where your teeth have been damaged, are unattractive, or are threatened. They can save your teeth, and save your smile.

Here are some of the most common situations where we’ll call on a dental crown.

woman with amazing smile shows off her teeth

Tooth Damaged Badly by Decay or Erosion

If you have a small amount of decay, a dental filling is used. But if the decay is substantial enough that the tooth is weakened and more likely to crack or split, we’ll use a dental crown. A dental crown can completely encase the tooth, holding it together when a filling would actually weaken the tooth.

Sometimes, if you’ve had large fillings in the past, a dental crown is the only good response when the filling fails. This may be because the filling came out or if it’s experiencing decay around the edges. We might also look at a filling, look at the tiny cracks beginning to form around it, and recommend a crown to protect the tooth from cracking, even though the tooth and filling have not technically failed yet.

Acidic erosion can be very damaging to teeth. While tooth decay works in small areas, causing cavities, erosion attacks your teeth all at once. A filling won’t help eroded teeth, but a crown will. And since dental crowns are resistant to acidic attack, your teeth will be protected against future erosion.

Cracked Tooth

Your teeth are designed to stand up under the pressure of chewing, but over time they can be weakened and become susceptible to cracking. They can also crack if you have decay or erosion that weakens them, you have an accident, have bite problems, or are using your teeth inappropriately.

Once a tooth cracks, it needs the structural support that a crown can provide. In this situation, you’ll be glad for the convenience of CEREC, which lets us make fully ceramic dental crowns while you wait.

Protect a Tooth after Root Canal Therapy

In root canal therapy, we remove the living portion of the tooth, called the pulp, to cure or prevent infection. In order to remove the pulp, we have to reach into the interior of the tooth, which requires removing a substantial portion of the tooth enamel and dentin. This can leave a tooth weakened.

Often, a dental crown is the best way to restore the strength of the treated tooth.

Topping a Dental Implant

A dental implant is structured like a natural tooth. It has an artificial root, technically known as the dental implant. This is below the gums and bonds with your jawbone. But the part of the replacement tooth that you see is a dental crown.

Building Up a Small Tooth

Many people are unhappy with the fact that they have small teeth. It may be that you’ve got one or two small teeth, such as retained baby teeth or peg laterals. Or it may be that all your teeth are just naturally small.

Usually, porcelain veneers are the treatment of choice for building up small teeth, or a hybrid veneer that covers most of the tooth. But sometimes we need a full dental crown to build up your small teeth.

Instant Orthodontics

Orthodontics is a great way to straighten teeth, but it takes time, often over a year to complete. If you don’t want to wait  year for your new smile, we might recommend instant orthodontics. This straightens your teeth by reshaping them rather than moving them.

Most of the time, we use porcelain veneers for this, but, as with building up teeth, sometimes a dental crown is the right tool for the job.

Rebuilding Your Bite

If you have developed TMJ because your teeth don’t fit together properly, we will typically start treatment using a removable, reversible treatment: a bite splint. People love the results they get with the bite splint, but not everybody loves the bite splint. If you’re in this group, we can talk about getting the same results without the splint by building up your teeth so they hold your jaw in the right place. Or perhaps your teeth have been so badly damaged by your bite that you need full mouth reconstruction.

We often use dental crowns for this because they can stand up to the pressure.

Is a Dental Crown Right for You?

As you can see, dental crowns can be used in many situations. And this is just some of the situations where we use dental crowns. The only way to know if a dental crown is right for you is to talk to a dentist in person. Please call (910) 392-6060 today for an appointment with a Wilmington, NC reconstructive dentist at Kuzma Advanced Dentistry.