How Your Dentist Uses Crowns

A dental crown is a hollow device that encircles the natural crown of a tooth. Typically used to support or enhance the structure of the tooth, the crown is fashioned to fit comfortably in the mouth without negatively impacting the patient's bite.

Crowns are quite versatile and can be used for a wide variety of restorative treatments. Here are a few ways that your dentist may use crowns:

To Fortify a Tooth After a Large Filling

A tooth that has been weakened structurally due to another dental procedure, such as the installation of a large filling, may break more easily without support. If the dentist does have to remove a large area of decayed material, after the placement of the filling, they usually apply a dental crown. The crown covers the remaining portions of the tooth, along with the filling, providing support and protection for the underlying structure.

To Protect a Cracked Tooth

When a tooth cracks from exposure to too much bite pressure, the initial crack may only be minimal in size. Additionally, it may not have breached the deeper layers of the tooth. To help ensure that a crack does not worsen, a dentist may place a dental crown on the damaged tooth.

Dental fractures that extend into the roots of a tooth result in extractions. A tooth with a cracked root cannot be salvaged. Thus, once a crack is found in the tooth material, the dentist may use a dental crown to help ensure that the crack does not continue to extend throughout the tooth.

To Protect the Tooth After a Root Canal Procedure

During a root canal procedure, the dentist drills a hole into the tooth to remove the dental pulp. After the pulp is removed and the interior of the tooth has been disinfected, a filling is used to replace the extracted material. However, the filling is unlikely to provide enough support and protection for the treated tooth. Thus, after the installation of the filling, the dentist is likely to cover the tooth with a crown.

To Attach a Fixed Dental Bridge

A fixed bridge connects to the abutment teeth that surround the gap left by the missing tooth. The bridge includes a false replacement tooth, but it also includes bridge crowns. The crowns, which typically lie on each end of the bridge, are placed over the abutment teeth to permanently fix the bridge in place.

To learn more about dental crowns and their usage, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.