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When would I need a crown?

When you join a royal family :D Ugh, we know - that was a terrible joke. And the photo above kind of looks like a miniature crown on a giant tooth - no? Just to us? Ok, point taken.

But in all seriousness, if a dentist just recommended that you get a crown, you may be wondering if you *actually* need it. At ALFIE Dentistry, we promote open communication and dialogue - so we try to explain what we see - with photographs and x-rays to show you what we see. We strive to help you understand the importance of dental treatments when we make the recommendations, and the case is no different when we suggest a crown. If you ever need clarification on a procedure - why you need it, what the procedure entails, etc, don't hesitate to ask us. We want to make sure that you're comfortable with the proposed treatments and that you are making an informed decision before we begin, so don't be afraid to voice any lingering doubts.

Here are some of the more common reasons someone might need a crown:

1) When there is significant and extensive tooth decay

This can vary on a case-to-case basis, so the term 'significant/extensive decay' may mean different things to different people. We're not trying to be ambiguous about it (though it might sound like it, when we use this umbrella term!), so here are some situations of what this might mean:

One person may simply have a large cavity or big chip come off their tooth. Sometimes, a filling may be placed, but if there is a giant hole or giant missing piece, a crown placement would stand a better chance at protecting what's left because it almost acts like a helmet around your tooth, rather than a 'patch up'. The 'patch ups' work well for smaller cases of decay, but once it gets to a certain size, a crown may be a better idea.

Another person may have old, existing fillings on different surfaces on the same tooth and this could be again, strengthened with one crown placement in comparison to 'patching up' here and there, there and there. It's a similar situation where a person may have an old filling (or old fillings!) with new decay. Instead of doing a piece-meal job, you could envision that replacing all of these little restoratives with one crown will improve the longevity and strength of the tooth.

2) A worn-down tooth

If a tooth is heavily worn down, it's a good idea to top it off with a crown. This not only allows you to preserve what is left of that tooth but also prevents the tooth opposite of it (on the other arch, upon which is usually bites with) from hyper-erupting (which can case other issues over time.

3) A tooth with a deep crack

Since a crown goes around a prepped tooth (almost like a protective hat or helmet), if a tooth shows a deep crack, this is what may be recommended in order to maintain what you have.

4) A tooth has been root canal treated

After a root canal is performed, the nerve(s) of that tooth have been removed, leaving the remaining structure weak. In most cases, putting a post and core crown will provide a stronger foundation and protect the remaining tooth better.

5) If you've received an implant

If you opted to have a tooth fully restored with an implant, the finishing part of that procedure is to put a crown on it.

6) For aesthetic reasons

Crowns and veneers can be used to improve the look of your overall smile. If this is the case, you'd be planning for several teeth to be treated, usually an arch is done in one shot - so that they look uniform and natural. By choosing crowns, it can also help support what's already there (so if you have chipped or damaged teeth, worn teeth, etc, you'd get the added protection that we've discussed as well!)

These are just some of the possible reasons why someone needs a crown. If you'd like an individual assessment - including whether you need a crown or if an alternate procedure could be a consideration, book a specific exam with us so our dentists can take a look and give your their professional opinion. Give us a call at (416) 226-6688!


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