Dental crowns are a common procedure used to restore damaged teeth. They are essentially a cap that covers the entire tooth, protecting it from further damage and improving its appearance. But how do you know if you need a crown for your tooth? Let's go over the signs and symptoms that indicate a crown is necessary, and what you can expect during the process.
Please note this is general advice and does not reflect your personal circumstance. We recommend you book an appointment with us, to get personalised professional dental advice.
When is a Dental Crown Necessary?
A crown may be necessary for a variety of reasons, including:
- Tooth decay: When a tooth is severely decayed, a filling may not be enough to restore it. In this case, a crown may be necessary to protect the remaining tooth structure.
- Cracked or chipped tooth: If a tooth is cracked or chipped, a crown can prevent further damage and improve the appearance of the tooth.
- Root canal: After a root canal, a dental crown may be necessary to protect the weakened tooth from further damage.
- Large filling: When a filling is too large, it can weaken the tooth and increase the risk of fracture. A crown can provide additional support and protection.
- Cosmetic reasons: Dental crowns can also be used for cosmetic reasons, such as to improve the appearance of a discolored or misshapen tooth.
Signs and Symptoms to Look Out For
If you're experiencing any of the following signs or symptoms, it's possible that you may need a dental crown:
- Pain or sensitivity: If you're experiencing pain or sensitivity when biting down or eating, it could be a sign that your tooth is damaged and in need of crowns.
- Cracked or chipped tooth: If you can see or feel a crack or chip in your tooth, it's possible that a crown may be necessary.
- Large filling: If you have a large filling that's causing discomfort or pain, it may be time to consider a crown.
- Discolored or misshapen tooth: If you're self-conscious about the appearance of a tooth due to discoloration or an irregular shape, a crown can improve its appearance.
The Dental Crown Procedure
If your dentist determines that a crown is necessary, you can expect the following steps:
- X-rays: Your dentist will take X-rays of your tooth to determine the extent of the damage and to ensure that a crown is the right treatment option.
- Tooth preparation: The tooth will be prepared for the crown, which may involve removing any decay or filling material and shaping the tooth to fit the crown.
- Impression: An impression of the tooth will be taken to ensure that the crown fits properly.
- Temporary crown: While the permanent crown is being made, you'll wear a temporary crown to protect the tooth.
- Placement of the crown: Once the permanent crown is ready, it will be cemented onto the tooth.
Will getting a dental crown be painful?
The process of getting a dental crown shouldn't be painful, as your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area. However, you may experience some discomfort or sensitivity afterward, which should subside within a few days.
How long do dental crowns last?
With proper care and maintenance, dental crowns can last up to 15 years or more.
Are there any alternatives to dental crowns?
In some cases, dental bonding or veneers may be an alternative to a crown. Your dentist will evaluate your specific situation and recommend the best option for you.
Can I eat normally with a dental crown?
Yes, once the crown is properly cemented onto your tooth, you can eat normally. However, you should avoid hard or sticky foods that could damage the crown.
How do I take care of my dental crown?
To care for your crown, you should brush and floss regularly, avoid chewing on hard objects, and visit your dentist for regular check-ups.
If you're experiencing any signs or symptoms of dental damage, it's important to visit your local dentist as soon as possible. You can book an appointment here to get a professional dentist opinion.