When A Tooth Needs A Crown

Why does my tooth need a crown?

This is a great question! There are many scenarios in which Dr. Berry would recommend restoring a tooth with a crown:

  1. Cracked teeth- Sometimes we can see obvious cracks in teeth, or early micro cracks that cause no pain, but are likely to cause a toothache in the future. Other times you may be having pain when chewing, or when you bite on that tooth a certain way.  If you continue to chew on a painful tooth, the tooth could break and now instead of just a crown, it could need a root canal or even may have to come out!  The best treatment for a cracked tooth is to put a crown, or commonly known as a cap, on the tooth.  The cap fits over the tooth securing it and preventing chewing forces from continuing the fracture. This means you get to keep your tooth! :)
  2. Broken teeth- When a tooth breaks and there is not a lot of structure left after it is better to restore the tooth with a crown. Crowns are more predictable and dependable than large fillings. In general, crowns will last longer and look better than very large fillings.
  3. Large cavities or cavities under existing large fillings- Once teeth have or need very large fillings there will be little natural tooth structure left which typically leads to fractures and cracked teeth as mentioned above.
  4. After root canal treatment- Root canal treatment involves the removal of the nerve and blood supply to the tooth, making the tooth brittle and more likely to fracture. A crown is recommended to prevent the tooth from breaking and protect the investment you made in the root canal treatment.
  5. Just for looks- Over time our teeth can yellow and age, old fillings can stain and it is natural to want to look good! Many people opt to do crowns or veneers in particular on their front teeth for a beautiful and natural smile.
broken tooth

You can see in this before photo, this tooth needed a crown for several reasons.  We can see a portion of the tooth has broken, there are micro cracks present and as well as a large existing silver filling.  Dr. Berry and the patient decided to restore this tooth with a white crown that is designed for people who grind their teeth so it is very strong.

There are several options for materials for crowns including gold, metal with porcelain and very natural looking metal free crowns.  Dr. Berry can discuss the different options and decide with you what would be best for your smile.