Jackson Family Dental

When and why do I need a crown? What is a

A crown (or "cap") is usually needed when there is no longer sufficient healthy tooth structure left to retain a simple filling. Teeth that have had root canals need crowns to strengthen them. After root canals teeth become more susceptible to fracture if not protected with a crown. A growing trend in dentistry is to replace missing teeth with an implant. The implant is like a screw that goes into your bone (sort of like the root of your tooth did before) and is the foundation for which a crown will be placed. The crown is the portion of tooth above your gums and the implant or root is the portion of the tooth below your gums that anchors into the bone.

A "post" is most commonly needed for front teeth for which there has been a break in the tooth that is level with, or nearly level to, the gums. As you can imagine, this makes it very difficult to anchor enough restorative material above the gums to make a crown around. With these teeth, we will typically let an Endodontist prepare the root canal space for a root canal and post. After your treatment with the Endodontist, you will be referred back to our office and they will give you the post to bring back to us. And Endodontist is a specialist that has additional training in specifically doing root canal procedures.

At your crown preparation appointment, we will begin by cementing this post into the root canal space. This will give us something that sticks up to hold our restorative material onto. After this we have enough substance to anchor our "buildup" onto. The buildup is the foundation to which a crown can be anchored to when there is not enough natural tooth left. Most of the time, on back teeth, we can just do a buildup if there is a significant amount of tooth structure missing, unless the break encompasses the entire tooth at or near the gumline. This has a lot to do with the direction of force being put onto the back teeth versus the front teeth. Front teeth have more of a shearing force (back to front) force being put on them than do back teeth. Back teeth are more under a compressive type force (straight down towards the root of the tooth when biting).

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