It’s time for your next dental checkup and you’ve been wanting to talk to Dr. Sarna about that rough, sharp tooth you feel near the back of your mouth. Now that we’ve had a chance to complete an exam and take an X-ray, Dr. Sarna suggests putting a crown on it.
“Can’t I just get a filling instead?” you ask.
Not necessarily, and here are a few reasons why:
You Need A Stable Tooth to Support a Filling
Fillings go inside of a tooth, while crowns go around it. In order for a filling to be successful, you need enough healthy tooth structure to hold it in place. Otherwise, the compromised tooth will continue to fracture and break apart, like a shell surrounding the filling.
Dental crowns cover your tooth entirely, all the way up to the gumline. As such, they encase the weak tooth underneath and protect it from additional fracturing. That’s why sometimes when you need to have an old filling replaced that is rather large, you will need a crown instead of a new filling in its place.
If You’re Replacing a Large, Older Filling
When a filling gets older, the margins around it start to pull away from the tooth, causing leakage. This factor can lead to recurring decay under your filling. So when it’s time to replace it, the filling is removed and changed out. But before a new filling can be placed, the enamel nearest the surface will need to be re-prepped and buffed away. So essentially, the next filling is going to be bigger than the last one. As we already mentioned, there comes a point where a filling can only be so big.
Your Tooth Needs to be Able to Withstand Biting Pressure
Your teeth are exposed to hundreds of pounds of pressure when you bite and chew, which happens hundreds of times a day. If a tooth is structurally compromised, all of this pressure will cause it to break down prematurely. Even another tooth chewing against it can cause it to wear down. Crowning your tooth in a timely manner will reduce your risk of an unexpected emergency later on.
Bonding Won’t Work
Perhaps the edge of your tooth is chipped from an injury. Cosmetic bonding is the first thing that comes to your mind. Unfortunately, bonding placed on the end of a tooth won’t hold up to everyday wear; it would simply fall off over and over. A crown would not.
You’ve Had a Root Canal
Once a tooth has been treated with a root canal, it will almost always need to have a crown over it. Because the tooth is no longer alive, with vital nerve or blood supplies, it begins to become brittle. Even if it’s healthy and free of infection, it can wear down prematurely.
Putting a crown over your endodontically treated tooth means that it can keep functioning as normal for several more years.
Get A Second Opinion on Crown Treatment
Maybe you’ve had another dentist recommend a crown and you just want to get a second opinion. That’s ok too. Contact Hawthorne Village Dental Care in Milton today to schedule an appointment. We’ll be happy to answer any questions that you might have.