In this article, you will learn all the necessary information before undergoing a dental crown treatment. Additionally, I will provide guidance on determining when you should consider getting a crown. Sadly, there is currently an “epidemic” of patients who are receiving unnecessary dental crowns, and I will discuss how to avoid becoming a part of this trend.
1. If you have more than 80% of your tooth destroyed
In cases where a tooth has experienced severe decay or has sustained fractures causing 80% or more damage, opting for a dental crown is often the best course of action. A crown can offer support to the damaged tooth while also restoring its aesthetic appearance. It may also be necessary to undergo additional procedures, such as endodontic treatment (nerve treatment), dental pin insertion, and even periodontal lengthening surgery, which is performed by a periodontist. These additional procedures are necessary to ensure that the crown can be securely anchored to the tooth, promoting stability and ensuring a successful treatment outcome.
2. If you have temporary crowns
I would like to explain what temporary crowns are and their purpose. Temporary crowns, as the name suggests, are crowns that dentists place temporarily, typically lasting around a month while the final crown is being prepared. Once the final crown is ready, the temporary crown is removed and discarded.
Temporary crowns are typically made of acrylic, which is a cost-effective material that allows for easy modifications during the temporary phase. However, it is crucial to replace temporary crowns with the final crowns promptly. Leaving temporary crowns for an extended period, such as months or even years, can lead to serious problems. The acrylic material is highly porous, which makes it susceptible to bacterial accumulation on its surface. Over time, this accumulation can cause an unpleasant odor that cannot be removed by brushing or using mouthwash, leading to potential oral health complications.
Furthermore, the accumulation of bacterial plaque on the surface of temporary crowns can cause inflammation of the gum tissue, resulting in bleeding and even pus discharge upon contact. Additionally, the acrylic material used in temporary crowns is highly susceptible to changes in temperature, causing it to expand when exposed to hot foods or beverages. This expansion can create additional issues with fit, leading to further bacterial accumulation and an increased risk of the crown falling out.
3. If you have crowns of different colors
In cases where a tooth has been treated at a different time than another tooth and both require crowns, it is not uncommon for patients to end up with crowns of different shades. However, having crowns of different colors in the visible smile area can be aesthetically displeasing and affect a patient’s confidence. In such situations, it is recommended to replace the crowns to achieve a more natural and uniform appearance, allowing patients to smile with confidence.
4. If you have a bridge to put on and take off (removable prosthesis)
Removable bridges, while a popular option for replacing missing teeth, come with some downsides. Over time, they can become uncomfortable and difficult to maintain. This is because they must be removed at night, and due to regular wear and tear, they can become misaligned, causing discomfort and difficulty chewing and speaking.
Fortunately, there are other options available to patients who are seeking a more permanent solution. One popular option is a fixed bridge, which is composed of multiple crowns that are cemented in place to replace missing teeth. Fixed bridges offer a more stable, long-term solution than removable bridges, making them a popular choice for patients.
Dental implants are also a popular option for those seeking a more natural and long-lasting solution. Unlike bridges, which require adjacent teeth to be carved down to support the crown, implants are anchored directly into the jawbone, providing a more stable foundation for the replacement tooth. This not only makes the tooth more secure, but it also provides a more natural appearance and function.
Ultimately, the decision to choose between a fixed bridge and dental implants will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the patient. However, both options offer a more permanent and comfortable solution than removable bridges, making them a popular choice for those seeking a more stable, long-lasting solution to replace missing teeth.
5. If you have very extensive amalgams that fracture very easily
A considerable number of patients seek dental treatment because they have either amalgam fillings or resin restorations that have become maladaptive or cause discomfort and sensitivity due to frequent fractures. In such cases, dental crowns offer an ideal solution. However, if the damage is not extensive, an alternative treatment option is an inlay. Inlays can replace up to 50% of the tooth without the need for complete carving, and they can be made of either ceramic or resin, providing excellent aesthetics.
6. If you have severe bruxism
The standard approach to treating bruxism in patients typically involves the application of resins to the affected areas to address aesthetic concerns, alleviate sensitivity, and restore normal function. This approach also serves as a protective measure for the underlying tooth.
However, some patients may suffer from severe and persistent bruxism that causes significant wear, extreme sensitivity, and even loss of the vertical dimension, which is the height of the bite. In such cases, the recommended treatment is to use highly durable materials, such as ceramic metal or zirconium, to create crowns that can withstand the strong forces that the teeth are subjected to due to bruxism.
In addition to using crowns, it is highly recommended to use botulinum toxin as a supplement to relax the muscles and prevent them from causing further damage to the teeth, restorations, or crowns. Patients may also be advised to wear a nocturnal bruxism plate to reduce the impact of the bite and minimize damage.
7. If dental crowns should not be placed
If you’re fortunate enough to have naturally perfect teeth and simply want to enhance your smile, it’s important to be cautious about the latest trends in smile design. There is a concerning trend among some individuals who opt for extreme teeth carving, popularly known as “shark teeth.” Unfortunately, this trend can lead to immense pain, and in some cases, even root canal procedures are necessary.
Dentists are alarmed at this practice, especially since healthy teeth in good condition can be improved with more conservative treatments such as orthodontics, dental whitening, and resins or ceramic veneers. It’s essential to understand that excessive teeth carving can cause irreversible damage and may ultimately require more extensive and expensive treatments such as dental implants.
The rise of social media influencers promoting these extreme procedures is also a worrying trend. It’s crucial to seek advice from a qualified dental professional who can offer personalized and safe options for smile design. By doing so, you can achieve the desired results without compromising the health and integrity of your natural teeth.