Modern dental technology has provided patients with missing or damaged teeth the opportunity to restore the original form and function of their smiles with a variety of treatment options. One of the most popular and versatile treatment options is a dental crown which can help restore your smile, improve its appearance, and protect your oral health in a variety of different ways.
What Is a Dental Crown?
Also called a dental cap, a dental crown is a small dental prosthetic that’s designed to fit over a patient’s natural tooth, completely covering the portion of the tooth that’s exposed above the gum line. They are commonly made from porcelain or ceramic fused to metal, depending on the patient’s needs, preferences, and the treatment location in the mouth.
When Are Dental Crowns Used?
Dental crowns offer both restorative and cosmetic benefits. As a result, they have several applications in dental care and are used in a variety of situations. For example, dental crowns are often used to:
- Save a severely damaged, injured, or decayed tooth
- Preserve a tooth following a root canal procedure
- Correct the shape or size of an unusually shaped or sized tooth
- Cover old dental work like silver amalgam dental fillings
- Improve the symmetry of a smile
In many cases, dental crowns are a last-resort treatment that can help to prevent the need to have a tooth extracted.
8 Ways Dental Crowns Improve Your Oral Health
1. Preserve Your Natural Teeth
Dental crowns completely cover the natural structure of a tooth that’s exposed above the gum line. As a result, they help to support and protect the natural structure of a tooth. Whether a tooth has been compromised as a result of disease, tooth decay, an injury, or an old bit of dental work, a dental crown can be used to preserve the patient’s natural tooth, preventing the need for a tooth extraction procedure.
2. Prevent Tooth Loss (and All the Problems That Can Go With It)
Since dental crowns help to preserve natural teeth, they can improve your overall dental health by preventing additional dental problems that can arise as a result of a missing tooth. When your smile is left with gaps where teeth used to be, it can result in unnatural bite patterns, unusually worn teeth, shifting, teeth, jawbone deterioration, and the eventual loss of even more teeth.
So, preserving a natural tooth with a dental crown can help to prevent all of these secondary problems from occurring.
3. Combat Tooth Sensitivity
If a patient suffers from tooth sensitivity as a result of receding gums or weakened tooth enamel, a dental crown can be placed to help protect these sensitive areas from exposure to temperature changes, sugar, and pressure that can cause pain.
4. Restore a Severely Damaged Tooth
If a patient suffers an injury that results in a broken, chipped, fractured, or otherwise damaged tooth, its overall structure can be left significantly weakened. Depending on how deep the break or fracture is in the tooth, it could also expose the tooth’s interior pulp to bacteria and infection risk.
In these cases, a dental crown is often recommended for protecting the tooth and restoring its original form and function.
5. Prevent Decay
Dental crowns are often placed after a tooth has already suffered significant damage or decay. A dental crown, however, not only restores the tooth but also protects it from decaying further.
6. Replace a Missing Tooth (Along With a Dental Implant)
Dental crowns are not only used to protect and preserve a patient’s natural teeth but they can also be used to replace them after a tooth is lost or extracted. Dental crowns are an integral component of tooth-replacement treatment with dental implants. Each dental implant consists of three parts an anchor that is implanted in the patient’s jaw, an abutment that tops the anchor, and a dental crown that is permanently attached to the abutment.
The dental crown is the only visible portion of a dental implant and is the part of the implant that replaces the visible part of a patient’s tooth. They look, feel, and work just like natural teeth.
7. Anchor a Dental Bridge
Dental crowns can also be used to anchor a dental bridge which is a prosthetic dental device that is used to replace one or more consecutive missing teeth. Dental bridges have a bridge portion that floats above the gums and one or two anchors that hold the bridge in place.
In some types of dental bridges, the anchors are made from dental crowns that either cap the teeth located on either side of the gap or are permanently fixed to dental implants on either side of the gap.
8. Improve the Look of Your Smile
While smile aesthetics isn’t directly related to oral health, improved aesthetics can have a positive impact on a person’s confidence and happiness. Dental crowns can be used to correct a variety of cosmetic imperfections such as:
- Permanent stains and discoloration
- Tooth gaps
- Smile asymmetry
- Visible silver amalgam fillings
- Irregularly shaped or sized teeth
Improve Your Oral Health With Dental Crowns and Comprehensive Restorative Dentistry in Loveland, Colorado
If you think you might benefit from receiving a dental crown or another type of restorative dental treatment, we strongly encourage you to contact Northern Colorado Prosthetic Dentistry to request an appointment with Dr. Andrew Bock. We can evaluate your current oral health, talk with you about your concerns, and provide you with a personalized treatment plan designed to help you achieve your oral health goals. To learn more, we welcome you to contact our office today.