When the natural crown of the tooth gets destroyed by factors such as tooth decay, chipping and cracking, the dentist often recommends that the tooth be covered with a dental crown. Crowns cover the damage which might have happened to the upper segment of the tooth and allow you to continue using your tooth normally. When installed properly, a crown provides a strong chewing surface and also restores the appearance of a misshapen tooth. You may also need crowns if your teeth have undergone a root canal procedure or filings.
The choices of materials available to make dental fillings
There is a variety of materials used to make dental crowns. The most common ones include the following:
- Composite resins
Sometimes, combinations of materials, like porcelain joined to a metal base, are used to create dental crowns. Your dentist is the person who determines the type of crown which is most appropriate for you depending on availability, cost and the intended support.
The process involved in installing a crown
You will need to visit the dentist at least two times to have a crown installed. During the first visit, the dentist will numb the area around the tooth and map it. The mapping process is to determine the shape of the crown. If the existing tooth has broken down, it will need to be built up using materials that will help the crown to be attached securely. When the perfect crown fit is achieved, the dentist will select a colour which matches the rest of your teeth. The measurements and colours will be taken to the lab for the production of a crown. When the crown is done, you will go in for a second visit and have it installed.
Root canals and dental crowns
Many patients often wonder if they will have to undergo a root canal to get a dental crown. While all root canal patients must get a crown, other medical cases that need a crown do not always involve a root canal.
Other questions that patients wonder about in connection with root canal procedures include the cost, timelines and whether their insurance will cover it. All these are aspects that should be discussed with the dentist after they have done an assessment of the tooth and established that a crown is needed. When properly installed, a crown reduces further damage to the tooth and provides the required support for chewing food.