A dental crown is a type of artificial covering that goes over a tooth and which is then glued into place. This is a very durable covering that offers many benefits for dental patients. If you've been recommended to get a dental crown or you know you have some problems with your teeth, you might discuss the option with your dentist. Note a few factors about when it's time to get a dental crown and why they're recommended, so you can decide if they are the right choice for you.
Crowns versus removing a tooth
If you have a tooth that is severely eroded with a large cavity or that is chipped or broken, you may need to choose between having it removed or getting a crown. A large cavity in a tooth allows for germs and bacteria to settle in, which you can't always remove with standard brushing. It may also expose nerve endings and this can be painful. A broken or chipped tooth can cause cuts inside your mouth and not give support to the teeth around it.
Removing the tooth can mean surgery to cut it out of its place as well as then having a dental implant put in to cover this opening in your gum line. While this is a relatively safe procedure, it can also be very involved and even painful. There is the risk of infection with surgery and other such complications. A crown can cover this type of damaged tooth so that you don't need to have it removed.
Permanency of crowns
A crown is meant to be a relatively permanent covering for teeth; the majority of them need no work within the first few years, and can last a decade or more before they need replacing or repair. This can be a good choice for those who don't want to revisit the dentist regularly to have a dental bridge refitted over time.
Pain from lack of support
If you have crooked teeth, they may not be just unsightly; this can mean not giving support to your upper or lower jaws when the teeth are not aligned properly. A crown can cover a crooked tooth or one set back from the line of other teeth so that your mouth has proper support and your jaw muscles can relax. If you have jaw pain and don't want to rely on pain relievers or go through the time and hassle of braces, crowns can be the better option.