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Tooth Problems That Could Make Getting a Crown Impossible

Posted on 4/15/2017 by Dr. Hallas
A diagram of how a dental crown works.
A dental crown is a restoration used to strengthen and protect a broken or weak tooth. Frequently made from ceramic, due to the material's ability to be perfectly color matched to your natural teeth, it is custom made from molds taken of your mouth.

Crowns also have the added benefit of allowing your damaged tooth to stay in place, which keeps your adjacent teeth in their positions and prevents bone loss.

While crowns can be used in a variety of situations, there are some situations in which getting one is impossible.

When Can a Crown Be Used?

Crowns are used to fix a variety of dental issues:

•  A cracked tooth.
•  A weak tooth.
•  A tooth with a large filling.
•  Protecting a tooth after a root canal.
•  Covering a minor cosmetic imperfection.

While there are many issues that a crown can fix, there are some instances in which it is not an option.

Cracks Below the Gum Line
A crown is often used to strengthen your tooth and hold it together after it has suffered a cracked. However, the crown only covers the visible portion of your tooth. If the crack extends below the gum line, there is no way to cover and protect it. The cracked portion under the gums is subject to bacterial invasion (leading to infection) or further breakage.

Severe Decay or Tooth Damage

Crowns are often placed over teeth that have large fillings in order to strengthen them and protect them from shattering. In order for the crown to be placed, the tooth must first be prepared. This process involves shaving down the tooth so that the crown can comfortably and properly fit into place.

If too much of your natural tooth is missing, there won't be enough structure to support the crown. Placing a crown on a tooth such as this places the natural tooth below at risk for further damage.

Alternatives for Crowns

One of the advantages of a crown is that it allows your natural tooth to stay in its socket, preventing bone loss and changes to the shape of your jaw. However, if getting a crown is impossible, the tooth will most likely need to be pulled. And missing teeth should be replaced. The best option for replacing your missing tooth, and protecting your jawbone is a dental implant.

Crowns can fix a myriad of problems, but they cannot fix everything. If you find yourself in a situation where getting a dental crown is impossible, contact our office if you are a candidate for a dental implant.


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