Back 25 September 2014

8 Reasons Why You Need A Dental Crown

Here are 8 reasons why having a dental crown can improve how your teeth work. A Dental Crown, Dental Overlay or Dental Veneer

  1. strengthens a tooth acting like a crash helmet or thimble to hold things together

  2. restores the shape of a tooth to help with eating and or decrease food trapping

  3. replaces worn tooth

  4. improves a tooth’s appearance

  5. can be part of a dental bridge to hold a fused false tooth in place

  6. Is used in dental implant dentistry to replace a missing tooth

  7. Is used to help hold a denture more securely in the mouth with a special attachment.

  8. To stop "Cracked Cusp Syndrome" symptoms - see below

Here are common situations where a dental crown may be a good option

If a tooth has a large filling: A large filling equals over 50% of the tooth being replaced by filling material. The remaining tooth structure is in a weakened state & vulnerable to snapping or cracking or secondary tooth decay. 

Emax Porcelain Crown SameDay Emax Porcelain Overlay Crown replacing massive failing Mercury dental amalgam 

A Root canal treated tooth: When a tooth is root canal treated it is significantly weakened. To access the root canals an access cavity is made right through the middle of the tooth. Often teeth requiring root fillings are having this treatment because they are already heavily filled and in a weakened state with tooth cracks. Overlaying this weakened tooth structure with a dental crown goes a long way to protecting the tooth from further failure

Root Filled Tooth That is Weakened
Root filled tooth that is weakened & highly prone to snapping unless overlayed with a crown or overlay

A tooth with cracked tooth syndrome: Tooth cracks that spread through the enamel into the dentine towards the nerve in the middle of the tooth are painful when chewed on. Often the pain only happens when biting on a certain point whilst eating something like grainy breads or seeds. The little hard piece of food sits right at the wrong place on the tooth and chewing wedges the fractured tooth crack open causing pain. If left untreated the crack propagates & eventually the tooth will break in two. Sometimes pain to hot & cold is also experienced. A dental crown or overlay holds the crack together. This stops the tooth fracture moving & growing & stops the sharp pain on chewing (unless the crack has already reached the nerve)

If a tooth has cracks in it: More often than not structural tooth fractures i.e. cracks that go through the enamel & into the dentine don’t actually hurt. However they are still weakening the tooth & the end result will be cracked cusp syndrome and or the tooth breaking apart. Crowns & now more often overlays strengthen the tooth by these cracks together. Read more on options if you have old Mercury Amalgam Fillings & want to prevent tooth cracking.

Teeth that have broken cusps

Broken CuspDue to all of the above ie heavily filled teeth & tooth fractures, often cusps will snap off. This often happens when people are eating innocuous things like soft bread. They come to see me with the piece of tooth, bewildered & wanting to know why this happened – “I was only eating soft bread or yoghurt or rice bubbles or some other soft food, why has this happened?” Well the cracks have been propagating painlessly for years & the cucumber sandwich was the last straw.  Cusps frequently break off teeth due to trauma or large existing fillings. The cusps take most of the chewing stresses whilst eating & can be protected and or replaced with a dental crown or overlay.

Teeth that have excessive wear
Tooth wearing away over the yearsPeople who have shorter teeth because they
1) grind their teeth
2) have eroded their teeth with acid caused by gastrointestinal acid reflux (GERD), bulimia, or an acid diet
This wear can sometimes lead to loss of a great deal of enamel in vulnerable areas resulting in small easily worn teeth & a collapsed bite. Restoring these teeth by increasing the height to its original dimensions & covering the softer dentine with a crown is an option

Teeth that have an undesirable appearance:
Sad ToothThe appearance of a tooth can be unacceptable because of the following
1) Colour
2) Shape
3) Spacing

Dental crowns, dental overlays or dental veneers can be made to create beautiful natural looking teeth.

Other occasions when Crowns are placed:

  1. Dental implants - Crowns are the final piece placed on a dental implant used to restore spaces where teeth have been lost

  2. Dental bridges - A dental crown is one part of a fused structure called a dental bridge. Commonly the two teeth on either side of a gap where a tooth has been lost are crowned & a false tooth is used to the two crowns & cemented in place

  3. Dental splinting - If teeth are loose or there is food trapping , dental crowns can be fused together & cemented on multiple teeth thus splinting them together & providing more stability.

If you would like more info on Dental Crowns read our blogs - What is the Cost of a dental Crown? and 8 Reasons Why You Need A Dental Crown

Posted by Andrea

Milford Dentists is proud to help the good people of the North Shore with all their dental requirements; especially in our mission to help you strengthen & beautify your teeth - From Devonport and Belmont up through Takapuna, Castor Bay,Mairangi Bay & Browns Bay as well as Albany, Northcote, Hillcrest, the Whangaporoa Peninsula and beyond give us a call - 09 4896575.

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