Your dentist may have informed you that a tooth needs a dental crown (also referred to as a cap). For various reasons, most people will need at least one crown in their lifetime. So, which situations typically require a dental crown?
- A tooth with a lot of decay
When tooth decay (also referred to as a cavity) becomes so large that a filling cannot be used to restore the tooth to health, a dental crown may be necessary.
- A broken down tooth
If a tooth chips or fractures, a dental crown may be needed.
- A large filling breaks
Large fillings can fracture. Rather than placing another large filling that will be prone to breaking again, a crown may be indicated.
- A tooth that had a root canal
Research has shown that after root canals, teeth are more brittle and more prone to fracture. Comprehensive evidence further shows that a dental crown is needed to reduce the risk of a tooth fracturing after a root canal. People often have a root canal and postpone having a dental crown placed on the tooth. Unfortunately, these teeth are at a high risk of fracturing, causing a dental emergency. So, if you have a root canal on a tooth, you should visit your dentist for an evaluation for a crown.
- A severely misshaped, stained or unattractive tooth
In certain situations, a dental crown may be indicated to improve the appearance of a distinctly misshaped, stained or unattractive tooth.
- A dental implant to replace a missing tooth
A dental implant is a titanium screw that is placed in the jaw bone in the area of a missing tooth. Then, an implant crown that looks and feels like a natural tooth is placed on top of the implant screw to replace the missing tooth. (Learn more about implant crowns.)