Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps placed on top of damaged teeth. They serve as a way to protect and restore teeth to their standard size, strength, and function.
At Wicker Park Dental Group, we consider our patients as partners in maintaining oral health. So, when you schedule your next visit at our Chicago dental office, we will evaluate all options and review them with you before recommending dental crowns or other restorative dental work.
Since dental crowns are the most common restorative procedure, it's natural for patients to have questions about them. Here are the answers to the top four frequently asked questions that people have before getting dental crowns:
1. Why are dental crowns needed?
Generally, dental crowns are needed when the tooth is so damaged that a filling is inadequate while saving much of the dental structure—including the tooth root.
2. What are some signs that dental crowns are necessary?
When you bite down, does your tooth hurt? This might indicate that your tooth is cracked or fractured, which could warrant a dental crown.
Some other signs that could lean towards the need for dental crowns include:
- Wanting to improve the overall appearance of teeth
- Severely decayed teeth (that cannot be fixed with a dental filling)
- Fractured or extensive existing dental fillings
- Restrengthening the tooth after root canal therapy
3. What are my restorative dentistry options?
Unlike a broken bone, teeth do not heal on their own. Therefore, restorative dental work is needed if a tooth is damaged or broken. Generally, a dentist will recommend a crown if a substantial portion of your tooth needs repair.
Alternatively, your dentist can remove the entire tooth and replace it with a dental bridge or dental implant-supported restoration. However, saving the tooth root is ideal when possible. Comparatively, a dental crown is more conservative than removing and replacing the entire tooth.
4. Is a root canal always necessary?
In short, no, root canals are not always necessary in preparation for dental crowns. Human teeth consist of many layers, and the tooth pulp is the central part of the tooth. Tooth pulp resides in the pulp chamber, beneath the enamel (top layer of the tooth) and dentin (second layer). The pulp is responsible for aiding in sensory function, dentin formation, and providing the tooth with nourishment and moisture.
During root canal therapy, the dentist removes infected or inflamed tooth pulp. After the dentist removes the unwanted tissue, he or she might restrengthen the tooth with a dental crown.
While it's true that a root canal can save a tooth from removal, this procedure is not always necessary before receiving dental crowns. However, if the tooth's dental pulp is not infected or inflamed, a root canal might not be necessary. It's always wise to speak to your dentist to see if root canal therapy suits your needs.
Learn More Dental Crowns, Bridges, and Other Restorative Dentistry Options
If another dental office in Chicago has told you that you need dental crowns but would like to hear a second opinion, call Wicker Park Dental Group at (773) 276-5566 or message us online. We are eager to answer any additional questions that you might have regarding dental crowns or other restorative dental work.