Why Does My Whittier Dentist Think I Need a Dental Crown?
Some people question whether they really need a dental crown in Whittier. They especially feel this way if they aren�t experiencing any pain, or their tooth isn�t fractured or severely cracked.
We understand the skepticism, but we promise that there’s a good reason for it when your Whittier dentist recommends a dental crown!
Today, we’ll explore why your dentist may think you need a crown.
What Is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is also commonly known as a “cap” or a “tooth hat.” A crown is a dental restoration made of porcelain, gold, or porcelain fused to gold. It fits over the top of the tooth, covering the biting surface and the back, front, and sides of the tooth.
Dental crowns look like natural teeth with a hollow center (so they can fit over your natural tooth). They’re permanently cemented to the tooth, providing a snug fit that allows the crown to look, feel, and function like a natural tooth.
How Much Do Dental Crowns Cost?
Dental crowns can range from $1000 to $2000. Factors that can increase the cost include:
- Whether you need additional procedures (root canal treatment or a build-up if there’s been significant structure loss)
- The materials used
Dental insurance companies tend to categorize dental crowns as a major restorative procedure. How much your insurance pays depends on your insurance and your plan.
How Long Does a Dental Crown Last?
How long a crown lasts depends on several factors, such as:
- Whether you experienced any oral trauma
- Yourdental homecare practices (or lack thereof)
- Whether you visit your Whittier dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups
- If you clench and grind your teeth (bruxism)
At a minimum, your dental crown should last five years. At this point, if your insurance company covers crowns, they’ll most likely contribute to the cost of the crown. If the crown is less than five years old, most insurance companies won’t cover a replacement.
Some patients can live with their crowns for decades. A good diet, regular dental visits, and good oral hygiene contribute to the longevity of dental crowns in Whittier.
Why Does My Whittier Dentist Think I Need a Dental Crown?
Dental crowns restore damaged teeth. Damage can result from:
- Trauma: If you get hit in the face or bite down on something hard, you can end up with a fractured tooth. In most cases, a filling is insufficient for restoring the tooth because it isn’t strong enough to withstand the pressure from chewing, clenching, or grinding. A dental crown restores the tooth’s structure and protects it from further damage.
- Moderate to severe dental decay: We can treat the early stages of decay with a dental filling. The more decay you have, the more tooth structure is lost. A crown is needed to protect the tooth from decay and further breakdown (which could result in a significant fracture that can lead to root canal treatment or an extraction).
- Root canal treatment: Your Whittier dentist needs to open the tooth to access the pulp chamber and root canals to perform root canal therapy. The damaged, dead, or infected pulp tissue is removed, and the canals are filled to prevent bacteria from entering. If too much tooth structure is lost for the tooth to be restored with a filling, a dental crown is needed to protect the tooth and prevent an extraction.
- Cracked tooth: A cracked tooth is a vulnerable tooth. Even a small and asymptomatic crack puts your tooth at risk for further breakdown. Over time, as your tooth endures the onslaught of pressure from chewing, the crack will progress. A crack can eventually result in a fractured tooth. It is also a shortcut for bacteria to enter the vulnerable layers of the tooth and cause decay, irritation, and infection. A dental crown supports the crack and prevents damage.
What Are the Signs I Might Need a Dental Crown?
If you (or your Whittier dentists) notice any of these signs, it might be time to invest in a dental crown.
- Fractured tooth
- Deep dental decay
- Broken fillings
- Cracked tooth
- Cracked tooth syndrome
- Old, large fillings
Dental crowns can also enhance the appearance of your teeth/smile. If you have a misshapen tooth, a dental crown can improve the look of the tooth both in terms of shape and shade (color).
Is It Ok to Leave a Tooth Without a Crown?
Your Whittier dentist understands that not every patient can invest in dental treatment as soon as it’s recommended. In some cases, we can keep an eye on a tooth with a small crack or some minor chipping. Each time you come in for a check-up, we’ll evaluate the tooth and see if we can continue monitoring it or if we need to take action.
Should I Get an Extraction Instead?
An extraction can be an option in some cases. However, it’s best (if at all possible) to save the tooth. If we need to extract the tooth, we highly recommend restoring it with a dental implant.
When you lose a tooth without restoring it, the adjacent teeth will shift to fill in the space, throwing your bite out of alignment. If this happens, some teeth take the brunt of the bite pressure, resulting in faster breakdown and more damage. You could end up needing more restorations or extractions, which could’ve been avoided with a single dental crown.
Another downside of an extraction without an implant is that nothing is anchoring the bone. Because of this, the bone will start to recede. As this happens, the bone can start to recede around the adjacent teeth, putting you at risk of periodontal disease, loose teeth, and tooth loss.
Ultimately, we want to try and save the tooth. If there’s still some structure left to it and it’s healthy once it’s been repaired, the best result for your oral and general health is to keep your natural teeth.
We Have the Tools to Explain Why You Need a Crown
One thing you’ll learn about your Dentists of Whittier team is that we love technology.Modern tools allow us to treat patients more effectively and comfortably.
The tools we use have also helped us improve patient education. For example, intraoral cameras allow us to show patients things they couldn’t see before, like cracks in their teeth.
When you can see evidence of conditions that can lead to tooth loss, breakdown, trauma, or pain, you’ll feel better about investing in a procedure like a dental crown in Whittier.
Are you experiencing tooth sensitivity? You might need a dental crown. Contact your Whittier dentist toschedule an evaluation today!