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Can a Dental Crown Can Save Your Tooth?
When a patient is dealing with severe tooth damage or decay, a dental crown is often utilized to repair the affected area. For many people, this type of treatment helps to both restore and protect the natural tooth. There are several options when it comes to crowns and a dentist can offer guidance on the appropriate treatment plan.
Understanding the dental crown procedure
Crowns are used to treat numerous dental issues, enabling many people to save their natural teeth. This common type of dental work is also straightforward, allowing some patients to leave with a permanent crown in a single appointment.
Candidates for crowns
A dental crown is typically used to treat advanced tooth decay, when a cavity is too large for a traditional filling. However, some dentists may also recommend crowns for
- A cracked tooth
- Teeth that are severely worn down or misshapen
- Protection and reinforcement after a root canal
- Chipped teeth
- Support for a nearby dental bridge
In all of these situations, the roots and remaining healthy matter are evaluated and deemed healthy enough to remain in place, allowing the patient to keep their natural tooth.
It is important to note that in some cases, it is too much of a risk to save the patient's natural tooth. This may be because of infection, severe tooth decay, traumatic injury or a decline in overall oral health. In these circumstances, it may be necessary to extract the tooth and choose alternative treatment methods, such as bridges, implants or partial dentures.
The treatment process
Before a dental crown is placed, the dentist treats the affected area by removing any decay and reshaping the tooth. Once the tooth is cleaned and prepped, impressions are made or digital scans are taken to create a custom cap. This covering is then cemented in place, restoring the patient's smile.
Dental crown options
There are many choices available for patients in need of a crown. Options vary from one professional to another based on the available technology and typical products used.
Most often, dental crowns are made from porcelain, ceramic or composite resin. These materials are designed to closely match the natural color of the existing teeth. In some situations, crowns are reinforced with stainless steel, especially when used on molars. A dentist can offer guidance on the ideal material based on the location of the crown.
Traditional or same-day crowns
Recent technology enables some locations to offer same-day crowns. Digital scans of the patient's mouth are sent to an in-office milling machine, which creates the crown within just a few minutes so it can be placed in the same office visit. Traditional crowns require a few weeks for production at an offsite location. Patients who receive this option usually need a temporary crown until the finished product is complete.
For many people, a dental crown can help repair significant damage while preserving the existing tooth. However, some serious situations may require different dental work. A dentist should be consulted when choosing the proper course of action from the available options for the most favorable outcome.
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