If you have ever had the opportunity to visit your dentist, then you have probably heard of dental crowns. You may have even seen images depicting them or heard a friend talk about their experience in getting their own dental crowns, so you may find it surprising to hear that many people are not familiar with dental crowns and what their purpose is. In case you are not already familiar with them, a dental crown is when a synthetic cover that look like a tooth is placed over an existing tooth. This cover completely encapsulates the tooth, so all that is visible when you examine the teeth is the synthetic tooth; the real tooth is completely hidden by the crown. The crown then takes on all of the jobs that the tooth would typically be responsible for, such as chewing and breaking down food. In addition to taking over the role of the original tooth, a dental crown also protects the tooth.
An example where you might have a dental crown placed over a tooth might be when a tooth becomes cracked or damaged and is extremely sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. There may be a situation where the original tooth is slowing being broken down by tooth decay and the dentist is looking for a way to contain the decay and keep it from spreading to the rest of the mouth. Sometimes when a tooth starts to corrode from decay, a filling might not be able to help the tooth. Depending on the placement of the filling and the cavity, adding a filling might actually cause the tooth to start to break apart, which can be painful and also makes it impossible for the tooth to do its job.
Dental crowns can also be used in situations where a dental extraction has taken place. If a tooth can no longer be viable in the mouth, then the responsible thing to do it to remove it. However, there are often many issues that can go hand in hand with a tooth extraction. Once the tooth is gone, that leaves a space or gap in the mouth that will allow the other teeth to start to move around, causing misalignment of the bite. IN order to make sure that all of the teeth inside the mouth stay in their proper place, a dental crown can be installed in that place in order to keep the smile looking perfect. When the tooth has been completely removed, then the crown does not have anything to adhere to, so in those situations a dental implant will be installed in the jaw bone and the crown will be attached to that. This ensures that the crown will be firmly rooted to a single spot in the mouth which will help keep the other teeth in place.
Dental crowns have a wide variety of purposes and situations where they are needed, but they are always there to help improve the function of the teeth as well as the appearance.