Even though many of us have probably experienced having a crown put on our teeth, we may not be entirely clear on just what a crown is, or when they’re needed. So let your friendly Overland Park dentist clear it up for you!
A crown is a cap made of porcelain, metal, or other materials fitted over every part of the tooth that extends above the gum line. At Watts Family Dental, we prefer ceramic over other materials, since it is more biocompatible and looks and feels more like a real tooth. The crown covers the tooth and holds it together, protecting it against fracturing and other stresses that might occur. Once a dental crown has been put into place, it essentially becomes the new outer surface of the tooth, and is treated and cared for just like a tooth from that point forward.
So when do you need a dental crown? They are often necessary in situations when a filling or other treatment won’t suffice to repair or protect a tooth, such as:
- In the event of a large filling covering half the width of the tooth or more. A filling of this size leaves the remaining tooth fragile and prone to fracture, so a crown may be needed to protect the tooth from further damage.
- Root canals almost always require a crown, because the process leaves the tooth hollowed out and prone to cracking.
- If the cusp of a tooth breaks off as a result of an accident or other trauma, the tooth may need to be covered with a crown. Because the cusp takes the brunt of the stress that’s placed upon a tooth during chewing, broken cusps can lead to fractures or other damage if the tooth isn’t protected.
- A condition called “cracked tooth syndrome,” in which fractures inside a tooth cause pain when chewing, can sometimes be treated by the application of a dental crown, which distributes the stress from chewing evenly across the tooth and often prevents further pain.
- Excessive wear on teeth, such as habitual tooth grinding, can often damage the surface of the tooth and leave it weakened. In this situation, a crown can protect the tooth against further damage.
While you may never want to hear that you need a crown, your Overland Park dentist can help to not only take the guesswork out of knowing when you need one, but also make the process as simple and painless as possible if a crown is necessary. At Watts Family Dental, we offer the CEREC one-appointment crown system, which allows us to produce and integrate ceramic crowns in a single appointment. Using CEREC technology, we can take painless digital impressions to create the crowns, and place them quickly and with minimum discomfort, so that you can get back to smiling as soon as possible!
Because crowns are one of the most common types of tooth restorations, we know that patients often have lots of questions about the process. At Watts Family Dental in Overland Park, Kansas, we want you to feel as comfortable and well-informed as possible, no matter what the treatment, so Dr. Watts and our staff are always happy to talk. Call us at (913) 338-3384 with any questions or to schedule your next appointment, or fill out our quick and easy online contact form.