Why Dentists Recommend Crowns For Teeth With Cavities

It is always nice to go to the dentist for a checkup and find out that you do not need any dental work. This means your teeth are in good condition and free of decay; unfortunately this is not always the case. If your dentist tells you there is a cavity on a tooth and that you need a dental crown for it, you might wonder why. Dental crowns are not typically used to fix cavities, but there are times when they are. Here are three things you should know about this.

Teeth Can Only Handle So Many Fillings

No matter what type of fillings you get, a tooth can only handle so many. If your dentist finds a cavity on a tooth that has already been filled one or more times, there is a chance that another filling will not work.

The material used for fillings, which can be made of gold, ceramic, or composite resin, does not stick well to filling material. These materials do stick well to your teeth though. When a dentist completes a filling, he or she must remove the decay and fill the whole with one of these materials.

If this tooth has already had a large cavity filled or multiple small cavities filled, there might not be a lot of tooth left. Each cavity requires removing part of the tooth and at some point, the dentist will no longer be able to fill the tooth with filling material. If he or she does, the filling could fall out quickly, which would be a waste of money.

Crowns Are The Solution

When a tooth is in this condition and has another cavity on it, the dentist may suggest using a crown. Getting a crown will typically require two appointments. At the first appointment, the dentist will remove the decay from the tooth and any existing fillings. The dentist may also shave around the top and edges of the tooth to remove even more of it.

The purpose of this is to save the tooth from losing it, and to have enough room on and around the tooth for a dental crown. A dental crown is often made of porcelain, and it is made from impressions the dentist makes of your tooth. These impressions are created at your first appointment.

To protect the tooth from changes and damage, the dentist will place a temporary crown on it. This will remain in place until your second appointment. The second appointment is used to remove the temporary crown and place the permanent crown on the tooth.

Alternatives To Crowns

Dental crowns can be costly, but they can also be one of few ways to save a tooth that has lost its strength from too much decay over the years. If you really do not want a crown, you could talk to your dentist about the following options:

  • Filling – While fillings do not work well for teeth like this, a dentist may agree to simply fill the tooth. If you do this, you should view this as a temporary solution to the problem. The filling is not likely to stick for a long period of time, but this option could hold you off from getting a crown for months or maybe even a year.
  • Extraction – Some people will choose to have teeth pulled instead of getting them repaired. If the tooth is a wisdom tooth, this would make sense. Keep in mind, though, that you cannot grow a new tooth, and this is why it is better to repair your teeth instead of extracting them.

Getting a crown for a tooth that has been filled several times is the best option to choose. If you would like to learn more about this, contact a dentist today.