Routine preventive care appointments with your dentist and hygienist can help you avoid the troubles of large cavities. Intermittent appointments can be very effective in diagnosing decay while it is small, easier to treat, and in many cases before any symptoms of tooth decay exist.
Sometimes though, tooth decay can advance very rapidly. Or maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist and when you arrive for a check up you’ve found out that there is a very large cavity in one of your teeth. Large decay is important to treat very quickly, because if left untreated it can spread to other teeth or result in the unavoidable loss of the infected tooth.
If decay is large, it will require placing a dental crown on top of the tooth. This is because decay must be removed and the surrounding tooth enamel prepped before supporting a restoration. Routine fillings cannot structurally hold up to the pressures of biting or chewing in areas where there is little healthy tooth enamel left. Instead, a crown is placed over the prepared tooth so that it can continue functioning as normal. This also protects adjacent teeth from catching decay, and prevents the infection from spreading to the nerve.
Perhaps the decay was so severe that it did reach into the nerve chamber of the tooth. Before placing a crown on this tooth, the diseased nerve tissue must be removed and the nerve canal filled with a medicated filling material. Placing a crown over a tooth with an infected nerve will simply result in recurrent tooth abscesses as it attempts to drain the infection. Crowns and root canal therapycan greatly extend the life of teeth that have experienced large areas of decay.
Posted on behalf of Juban Dental Care
When you are getting a dental crown to restore a damaged tooth, you have a choice of the type of material used to fabricate the crown. Metal crowns have been used for decades and are still an excellent choice. They are easy to work with and very durable. They rarely crack or chip and wear at about the same rate as natural teeth.
The problem with metal crowns is their gold or silver color. Most people find metal crowns unattractive, especially when they are placed on one of the teeth that show when smiling. Porcelain or ceramic crowns are a more attractive alternative, but these types of crowns are more likely to crack or chip under normal chewing pressure. In addition, they can cause excessive wear on opposing teeth that come in contact with the crown.
An excellent compromise is a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown. These have a metal base with a layer of porcelain fused to the surface and offer the durability of a metal crown with the cosmetic appeal of a porcelain or ceramic crown. These types of crowns look almost as good as a porcelain or ceramic crown but they are far more durable.
One downside is that a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown has the same wear issue as a porcelain crown, but if excessive wear is a concern, the crown can be made with a porcelain veneer on the most visible part of the crown while leaving the contact area bare metal.
Another problem with porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns is the thin metal strip along the edge of the crown. In most cases, the dentist will place the crown so that the silver or gold colored strip is below the gum line where it cannot be seen, but in some cases it is still visible, especially if the patient’s gums start to recede.
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