A cracked tooth is common among patients in the West Linn, Oregon, area. In many instances, Dr. Kim Wright and the team at Advance Dental Arts Center will recommend you get a porcelain dental crown for your cracked tooth. However, not every type of crack will require a porcelain crown to protect it from further damage. Let’s see when a cracked tooth may need a crown and when it will not.
Dental crowns are a popular choice among patients and dentists alike for protecting teeth that are damaged or severely weakened. Because a dental crown completely encapsulates a tooth down to the gumline, they are incredibly effective in protecting a tooth and ensuring that harmful bacteria cannot access it. Dental crowns can be made of many different materials, but porcelain is one of the most commonly used materials today in crafting a crown.
Your tooth must be prepared before a dental crown can be put in place. This will include the removal of any decayed or damaged tooth material. An impression of your mouth will then be taken. This can sometimes be done using a physical mold, but dentists today (thanks to current dental technology) utilize digital imaging to create three-dimensional impressions.
When a dentist looks at magnified images of a tooth, tiny cracks can often be seen, resulting from normal wear and tear from biting force or chronic teeth grinding. Many cracks like these will not require a crown, but if certain characteristics are noticed, it could prompt a recommendation for a dental crown.
One such situation is if your dentist sees that darkness has seeped into the cracked area and adjacent tooth structure. Because decay absorbs illumination used in oral exams, decayed areas appear darker than healthy tooth material. In this case, a partial or full crown may be recommended.
If you have cracks in your tooth and are suffering from pain or discomfort when releasing a bite, this is another indicator that tells a dentist that you likely need a dental crown. When you feel discomfort when releasing a bite, this usually indicates that the crack in the tooth extends past your enamel and into the tooth’s dentin, where your nerve fibers are. Putting a dental crown in place will ensure your tooth holds together and alleviate any sharp pains you may be experiencing. In some cases, a root canal may also be needed.
It is essential to understand that even when magnified images of a tooth reveal a crack or multiple cracks, your dentist will likely choose the most conservative but effective treatment. Your dentist values your trust, so make sure to always voice any concerns you may have before accepting a prescribed treatment.
A cracked tooth does not automatically mean you need a dental crown. However, it may be recommended if your dentist notices specific characteristics of your cracked tooth.