Determining whether you should get a dental crown or have a tooth extracted will depend on the natural tooth itself. Although saving the tooth whenever possible is always the best solution, it is not always possible.
Should you get a crown or pull the tooth? Let’s find out.
What is a Dental Crown?
Sometimes referred to as a cap, dental crowns cover and protect weak, ailing teeth with a strong, long-lasting material. They are custom-made to fit each tooth so that it is secured just right and blends beautifully with the surrounding teeth in size, shape, color, and so forth.
The dentist will take an impression of the tooth needing a crown and will then send it to an outside dental lab so that it can be created and properly placed when ready.
Dental crown materials commonly used include:
- Porcelain fused to metal
- Gold alloys
- Metal alloys
You can expect a dental crown to last for 10 to 15 years on average, or more if it is well taken care of.
When are Dental Crowns Used?
Believe it or not, dental crowns are used in all types of dentistry, including as a restoration and in cosmetic dentistry. Here is where you may find them:
- As the artificial tooth in dental implants
- Restoring a tooth that has been jeopardized by tooth decay, often after a root canal
- Keeping a cracked tooth together
- Improving the appearance of a tooth that is broken, chipped, oddly shaped, or discolored
Benefits of Getting a Crown
Many patients who have moved forward with getting a dental crown find that it brings a lot of benefits while it restores their teeth.
A dental crown:
- Covers imperfections and improves a tooth’s appearance
- Prevents decay
- Helps to align teeth, protecting bites
- Fixed, non-removable, and long-lasting solution
- Helps maintain facial structure
- Easy, non-invasive procedure
- Restores a tooth's strength and integrity
Most importantly, dental crowns can save a tooth from extraction.
When is Pulling a Tooth the Right Option?
You never want to extract a tooth unless it is a last resort. When you have a missing tooth, you will find that more complex dental issues will arise in the future because teeth will begin to shift due to lack of support in that open space. You risk jaw bone loss and a greater risk of gum disease. Eating and speaking may become more difficult, too.
Extraction should only take place when all other efforts to save a tooth are exhausted. Then, a tooth alternative should be sought to keep your teeth healthy and in line. While this is important for aesthetic reasons, it is even more important for your overall health.
Whether an extraction is discouraged or it is the best option available, it is always best to listen to the advice of your dentist.
SmileMakers Comprehensive Dentistry
At SmileMakers Comprehensive Dentistry, we take every step possible to help save your natural tooth before extracting. We will examine the tooth and discuss your options with you as we create a treatment plan. If extraction seems to be the only option, we do offer dental implants to provide you with an alternative that functions and looks much like the real thing.