If you've been to our Henderson office recently and were told that you need a dental crown instead of a deep filling, you may be wondering why. Although both procedures are used to restore damaged teeth, they differ in their approach and indications. In this blog, we'll explore the reasons why a dental crown may be necessary instead of a deep filling, and how our dentists and staff can help you make the right decision for you.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown, also known as a “cap”, is a restorative dental treatment that covers and protects a damaged or weakened tooth, after decay and/or broken tooth structure has been removed. It is a tooth-shaped prosthetic that is placed over the entire visible portion of the tooth, essentially replacing its outer layer. Dental crowns can be made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, ceramic, metal alloys, or a combination of materials.
When is a dental crown necessary?
A dental crown may be recommended for a variety of reasons, including:
1. Large cavities: When a cavity is too large to be filled with a regular filling, a dental crown may be necessary to restore the tooth's structure and function.
2. Fractured or cracked teeth: If a tooth is severely damaged or weakened due to a fracture or crack, a dental crown may be necessary to protect the tooth from further damage and restore its strength. The damaged or weakened portion of the tooth will be removed and replaced with the crown.
3. Root canal treatment: After a root canal procedure, a dental crown may be necessary to strengthen and protect the tooth, which may have been weakened by the procedure. Root canal therapy requires the dentist to gain access to the tooth roots via an access hole. In some cases, the access hole is too large to restore with a filling and a crown must be done to restore the tooth.
Why do I need a dental crown instead of a filling?
While a filling may be sufficient for a smaller cavity, it may not be the best option for larger cavities or more extensive damage. Here are some of the reasons why a dental crown may be necessary instead of a deep filling:
1. Extent of damage: If the damage to the tooth is extensive, a dental crown may be necessary to restore the tooth's structure and function. A deep filling may not be sufficient to provide the necessary support and protection. To make a repair, whether with a crown or a filling, the damaged tooth structure must be removed. If a significant amount of the natural tooth is removed, a filling is not sufficient to restore the tooth. In this case, a dental crown would be needed.
2. Risk of further damage: If the tooth is weakened or at risk of further damage, a dental crown may be necessary to protect the tooth and prevent further damage. A deep filling may not be able to provide sufficient protection. If a has a large filling already, that means a significant amount of tooth structure needed to be removed. In any dental scenario, when a significant amount of tooth structure is removed, the tooth is weakened. This of digging dirt out from under a foundation. Each time a shovel full of dirt is removed, the foundation weakens. The same is true for a large filling. If a tooth was restored previously with a large filling, the tooth structure can weaken over time and require a crown to strengthen and restore it.
3. Root canal treatment: If a tooth has undergone root canal treatment, a dental crown may be necessary to protect the tooth and restore its strength. A deep filling may not be sufficient to provide the necessary support and protection. As mentioned previously, root canal therapy requires the dentist to gain access to the tooth roots via an access hole. If the hole is too large for a filling, the tooth will be prepared for a crown.
How can Christensen Dental help me?
If you're unsure whether you need a dental crown or a deep filling, our Henderson dentists can help you make an informed decision. During your dental exam, your dentist will evaluate the extent of the damage to your tooth and recommend the best course of treatment based on your individual needs and goals. This evaluation will include an x-ray, visual inspection, and photographs of the affected tooth.
If a dental crown is recommended, our office will scan your teeth and take an impression of your bite. A custom-made crown will then be made by a local dental lab. Our dentists and dental assistants will take time to discuss the color and shape of the crown with you so that it matches your natural teeth. The crown takes about two weeks to make. In the meantime, you will have a temporary. Once it is completed, the final crown will be cemented onto the tooth, providing a strong and durable restoration that can last for many years with proper care and maintenance.
Caring for Your Dental Crown
To ensure the longevity of your dental crown, it's important to practice good oral hygiene and take proper care of your teeth and gums. Here are some tips for caring for your dental crown:
1. Brush and floss regularly: Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums. Pay special attention to the area around your dental crown, as plaque and bacteria can accumulate there and cause problems.
2. Avoid hard or sticky foods: Try to avoid chewing on hard or sticky foods, as they can cause damage to your dental crown. Instead, opt for softer foods that are easier on your teeth.
3. Wear a mouthguard: If you play sports or grind your teeth at night, wearing a mouthguard can help protect your dental crown and prevent damage.
4. Visit your dentist regularly: Schedule regular checkups and cleanings with Christensen Dental to ensure the health of your teeth and gums and to monitor the condition of your dental crown.
While a deep filling may be sufficient for smaller cavities, a dental crown may be necessary for larger cavities or more extensive damage to a tooth. Our Henderson dentists can help you determine the best course of treatment based on your individual needs and goals. If a dental crown is recommended, it can provide a strong and durable restoration that can last for many years with proper care and maintenance. By taking good care of your dental crown and practicing good oral hygiene, you can ensure the health and longevity of your teeth and gums for years to come.
10521 Jeffreys St #200,
Henderson, NV 89052
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