There are times when the loss of tooth structure from trauma or decay is too great to be corrected by installing a simple filling. In some situations, there may not be enough enamel to bond to, or the enamel may be fractured and unable to provide enough support for a filling.
When the structure of your tooth is this severely compromised, Dr. Kevin Sandefer is the San Antonio family dentist that you need to see.
If you have trouble chewing or are experiencing pain due to cracked teeth, dental crowns may be right for you. Reach out to our dental crown team at Alon Dental Care to get started on your crown procedure.
Why You May Need Dental Crowns
Certain habits can damage a person’s teeth, and if it is extensive enough, they may need to restore their proper dental function with a dental crown.
Chewing ice, chomping down on unpopped corn kernels, or crushing that last pea-sized bit of a jawbreaker can all do significant damage to your enamel–the hard protective outer layer of your tooth.
On the other hand, stressful conditions may also cause you to grind your teeth, doing much more harm to your enamel.
Ultimately, these habits act like wedges that crack into the enamel of your teeth. When these cracks in our teeth grow, they can cause them to hurt when we bite down on hard things and even, in some cases, fracture.
Should the need for dental restoration arise, Dr. Sandefer can recommend a dental crown designed to restore the beauty of your smile and alleviate any symptoms.
The Basics of Dental Crown Placement
In order to properly fit in a crown, the tooth affected by tooth decay or fracture needs to be filed down a bit after local anesthesia is applied. From there, a bond that constitutes of a high-strength material is applied and acts as the crown’s foundation.
Next, Dr. Sandefer takes a very detailed impression of the crown’s foundation and the surrounding teeth structures. A temporary crown is fabricated chair side so that tooth is protected and looks nice in the interim. He then sends the impression to our San Antonio laboratory where a highly skilled lab technician makes the dental crown that fits in where the prepared tooth is.
After 10 days, a second visit allows the temporary crown to be removed and the permanent one to be positioned and fixed into place using special adhesives.
The crowns are either made of porcelain, a hard tooth-colored material, or sometimes gold. Most people choose to have porcelain that is bonded to a metal or a newer material like zirconia to increase the strength of the crown and look similar to other teeth. Dr. Sandefer highly recommends the use of solid zirconia crowns in the posterior region. This relatively new material offers the highest strength on the market while still providing the esthetics you need.
Deciding If Crowns Are Right For You
Cracked teeth must be monitored by an experienced family dentist like Dr. Sandefer to ensure that it doesn’t grow into a deeper, more painful problem.
Rest assured that should a dental fracture occur, our dental crown specialists can determine if installing a dental crown is the right decision for you.
If a tooth does fracture, it generally does so in one of five ways:
- Craze Lines – Painless, shallow cracks. This type of fracture seldom requires treatment.
- Fractured Cusp – Cracks that occur in the chewing surface of the tooth.
- Cracked Tooth – A deep crack stemming from the chewing surface cutting down to the root.
- Vertical Root Fracture – A deep crack that cuts from the root upward toward the chewing surface.
- Split Tooth – Cracks that cut down through the root of a tooth, separating a large section of it.
Fractures can easily be fixed with the timely placement of a dental crown; however, more complex circumstances may require other procedures in order to treat and preserve proper dental function.
If the nerve, also known as the pulp of the tooth, is affected, root canal therapy may be required or the fracture may go below the tissue and require gum surgery called crown lengthening.
In certain circumstances the fracture may be so severe that the tooth is deemed non restorable and must be extracted. This leaves behind a space that then needs a bridge or implant to replace the teeth in the arch.
Reach out to our dental crown specialists to see if installing a dental crown is right for you.
Improving People’s Smiles, One Tooth at a Time
Dr. Sandefer has over 15 years of experience in bringing exceptional dental care to the people of Shavano Park and Castle Hills, helping them chew without pain and restoring functionality in worn down or cracked teeth with custom-made dental crowns.