Your dentist has told you that you need a dental crown, colloquially known as a tooth cap. But you may be wondering whether it would not be better simply to have the tooth removed. After all, if the outer structure of your tooth is going to be artificial, what is the point? In fact, dental crowns are one of the most common and versatile restorative procedures – and for good reason!
Your dentist will need to reshape your tooth significantly to place a crown, but a large portion of your natural tooth will still remain. For this reason, crowns are preferable to extraction.
Fortunately, if you do require extraction, Dr. Gary Horblitt will perform a gentle procedure and provide a top-notch restoration. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and find out which restorative procedure is right for you.
When do you need a crown?
Crowns can repair teeth that have widespread decay. They can strengthen cracked or weakened teeth. And they are an integral part of root canal therapy. In fact, 94% of surveyed dentists are likely to recommend a crown following a root canal on a posterior tooth.
Less frequently, crowns can be used for cosmetic reasons. Tooth-colored restorations can cover up pronounced discoloration or unusually shaped teeth.
What happens when you receive a tooth cap?
To place a crown, your dentist will sculpt your tooth. This will remove any decayed tissue, and it will also make room for your cap. Then he will take impressions of your tooth to ensure a secure fit and a lifelike appearance. He will attach the crown with composite, usually at a separate appointment.
Once the crown is in place, it can last eight years or more. Dr. Horblitt will guide you in the best ways to care for your crown to ensure a long lifespan. In fact, one landmark study shows that crowns can last fifty years or more!
What happens when you have an extraction?
If your dentist determines that extraction is the best option, he will numb your tooth at the gum line. Nitrous oxide is also available if you have anxiety or are preparing for a more complex extraction.
Dr. Horblitt will gently loosen your tooth and lift it from your mouth. Even without nitrous oxide, you will only feel pressure, not pain, during the procedure.
The Benefits of Dental Crowns
Cavities and gum disease are the top reasons for dental extractions, which are also common reasons for dental crowns. However, when possible, it is better to place a crown. Even with a cap, a large portion of your tooth remains in place, including the roots. The roots play an important role, helping to prevent jawbone recession. In fact, 30% of the ridge beneath the teeth is lost after tooth extraction.
Of course, if you do require an extraction, Dr. Horblitt will provide an appropriate restoration. Dental implants are the top choice because they play the same function as tooth roots. Not only will an implant uphold a single crown; it can also help protect your jawbone health.