Despite our very best intentions we all might at some point face that dreaded realisation that one of our teeth has cracked – or has developed a large cavity.
Dentists are committed to doing all they can to protect patients’ natural teeth and when serious damage is caused they will take whatever action they can to save the tooth.
In the case of a crack, fracture or serious cavity the best course of treatment is often a dental crown.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is essentially a cover for the damaged tooth that is shaped to fit in with the other teeth. Its prime purpose is to protect the remaining tooth from further damage – and in the long run to avoid the need for the tooth to be removed should the problem worsen.
A dental crown can be made from different materials, which often different strengths. These are:
Metal: Gold crowns have long been used to protect teeth from further damage and due to the material’s natural strength are very long lasting and durable, however, due to the colour these are generally used at the back of the mouth.
Porcelain-metal fused: These combine a more natural finish that can be better matched to the colour of the other teeth, while also benefitting from the strength of the metal underneath to help withstand daily wear.
Porcelain/ ceramic: Ceramic dental crowns have a more natural finish than other materials and make an ideal choice from front teeth that need dental work. However, the material is weaker than metal and more prone to damage if used on molars.
When would you need a dental crown?
Teeth can be damaged in accidents or cracked through biting into hard food – such as popcorn kernels, toffee etc. If the damage results in a ‘fracture’ that has not reached the root of the tooth a crown can be fitted to prevent the damage worsening, which will in effect save the tooth.
A dental crown could also be used to give added protection to a tooth where a large cavity has emerged due to decay. While a filling would be used to repair the cavity there can sometimes be a risk that if a filling is large enough it will split the tooth.
For more information about dental crowns, or if you are concerned about a cracked tooth contact Bhandal Dental Practice.