Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Crowns
If you are suffering from a tooth that is damaged beyond the level which a cavity filling can repair, your dentist may recommend you for something known as a dental crown. However, if you have never had a crown before, you will almost certainly be confused about what this treatment entails. Any good dentist will want to ensure that their patient fully understands the treatment they are being recommended, whatever it may be. This enables you to make an informed decision about your personal dental treatment and take control of your own dental health.
What is a Dental Crown?
Dental crowns are one of the most popular and well-used dental solutions with millions being fitted across the globe every year. The design itself is that of a tooth-shaped hat that sits over the damaged tooth, encasing it completely inside. Once in place, the strength, size, function and appearance of the tooth is restored so that your smile behaves naturally. In the past, the majority of crowns were made purely from metal. However, in response to patient’s increasing desire for discreet solutions, the most popular crowns are now made from either porcelain fused to metal or are 100% porcelain. This enables them to color-match them to your existing teeth, making them virtually invisible.
Advantages of Dental Crowns
If your dentist has recommended a dental crown, it is almost certainly because it may offer a number of different advantages for your dental health. In most cases, these are both restorative and cosmetic benefits.
Restorative Advantages of Dental Crowns
A dental crown is primarily used as a restorative treatment, and once in place, the patient can enjoy the full use of their mouth and teeth once more without any fear of damaging the affected tooth further. A dental crown can help restore teeth that are:
- Seriously decayed
- Cracked or broken
- Severely eroded, often seen in patients with bruxism
- Recovering from root canal surgery and need additional support
Crowns are also used to support a dental bridge in place – a conventional solution for patients with one or more missing teeth.
Cosmetic Advantages of Dental Crowns
In addition to restoring the strength and function of your teeth, there are also some cosmetic benefits of choosing a dental crown. They can:
- Cover teeth that are badly discolored or stained
- Add height to a tooth that has been eroded or is undersized
- Add width to a tooth that is undersize
- Help ensure that your teeth that more uniform in size and appearance
Finally, dental crowns have been shown to last considerably longer than many other types of dental restoration, making them a solid investment in your dental health.
Disadvantages of Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are considered to be an extremely safe and effective treatment. However, there are still a few disadvantages associated with them that you should consider before you go ahead with your treatment.
They Require Significant Preparation
Unfortunately, the tooth underneath your crown will need some preparation before a crown can be fitted. This involves either filing it down so that the crown fits properly over the top, or in the case of short/eroded teeth, building the natural tooth up so that the crown is supported. Once your damaged tooth has been prepared, it will always require either a crown or to be replaced entirely.
In addition to preparing the tooth itself, it is also essential that any underlying decay or infection is treated so that there is no risk of further complications after the crown has been placed.
Risk of Nerve Damage
Although very small, there is a slight risk of nerve damage associated with the placement of dental crowns. If this happens, you may need further treatment in the form of root canal surgery. However, this generally affects less than 15% of patients who opt for a crown.
If you have been recommended to have a dental crown and would like to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of this treatment, our knowledgeable and friendly team would be delighted to help you. Please contact our offices today to make an appointment.