Your teeth are made to take a lot of punishment. They tear apart food, crash into each other over and over, and still come back for more. But nothing lasts forever. Chewing, eating, and drinking can cause a tiny amount of damage, so small that no one notices it. But over the years, all of that starts to add up. That’s why your teeth can get dingy or even yellow over time. Coffee barely stains your teeth when you have a cup, but how many cups do you drink each year? How about for the past ten years?
It’s more than just cosmetic damage, mind you. If you neglect your teeth, plaque and tartar can build up, leading to big cavities and even gum disease. There are treatments for both (fillings for cavities, scaling and root planing for gum disease prevention), but sometimes even the treatment can make your teeth a little bit weaker.
What Is A Dental Crown?
Thankfully, a dental crown from our Port Charlotte, FL dental office can improve both the look of your teeth and their strength. A real crown rests on your head, so a dental crown rests on your tooth. But it’s more than that. The dental crown fits snugly over the tooth and does not come off. This helps the tooth become stronger, and because our crowns are custom made to look and feel natural, it’s doubtful that anyone will notice it’s there.
But should you get a dental crown procedure? Aren’t there other treatments available? Modern dentistry has plenty of procedures that can help you get your teeth back to a healthy, usable state. But dental crowns have some unique advantages. Here are four reasons you can — and should — use dental crowns on your teeth.
• Stop a cracked tooth from fracturing: Although the enamel on a tooth is very strong and durable, it’s not perfect. A tooth can get cracked from an accident, or even from an injury from sports like biking, hockey, football, and more. If one of your teeth has a crack, it’s really only a matter of time before that tooth can split open and have to be pulled. Teeth might look like bones, but they are very different. Unlike bones, teeth do not heal on their own. Since a dental crown wraps around and over your tooth, it holds the tooth tightly together. Any such crack is covered, sealed, and shut. (Note: some teeth can have lines called “craze lines” that might look like cracks but are not. You wouldn’t need a dental crown for craze lines, but one of our dentists can tell you if something is a line or a crack.)
• Seal up after root canal: When bacteria get on your teeth, they can create plaque, tartar, and tooth decay. But when they get inside of the tooth, the damage is worse. If that infection is not taken care of, you could be in a lot of pain before the tooth finally has to come out. That’s what root canals are for. In this procedure, our dentist would make a small hole in your tooth, and then carefully remove all the infected tissue inside. This saves the tooth, but you have to do something about that small hole in it. We can use a dental crown to seal up that hole and make the tooth strong again.
• Make the tooth look good again: Remember how all of that coffee can stain your teeth? So can a number of other things, such as tea, wine, turmeric in curry, plaque, and even traditional metal braces. (Which is why we use ClearCorrect “clear braces,” but that’s for another time.) Teeth whitening can help, but they often take weeks. Since a dental crown is made to fit your particular teeth, it can be colored to look like one of your current teeth or like a bright, sparkling new tooth. The cap will extend down to the gumline, so your whole tooth will be covered. Depending on your tooth’s damage, we might consider whitening or veneers first.
• Repair weak teeth due to fillings: Fillings are a great way to repair cavities and help prevent the tooth decay from spreading. Modern fillings are even better because they not only avoid toxic mercury used in old fillings, but they also can be tooth-colored and therefore almost impossible to detect. But in order to get a filling, our dentist will need to remove the decayed enamel. As long as the cavity is relatively small, this is just fine. But if you have a large cavity, trying to remove the decay and replace it with a filling could make the tooth too weak. Think of it as a car tire. If you have a small puncture, you can seal it up, no problem. But if there’s a large hole, the tire is going to blow out even if you get a patch large enough. The integrity is lost. As with a crack in your tooth, a dental crown can snugly fit over the cavity. The decay still needs to be removed, but the cavity is sealed tightly and held firmly together, giving back the natural strength of the tooth.
Dental crowns can save your teeth when they are too damaged to survive on their own and can even improve the look of your teeth. To learn more about dental crowns and how you could benefit from them, call our Port Charlotte office at 941-625-7877.