Busting Myths and Worries About Dental Crowns
Porcelain dental crowns have been used in dentistry since the 1800s and remain the second most commonly performed dental restoration today. With their versatility and popularity, it isn’t surprising that some myths about them have developed over the decades. Some of these misconceptions are due to poor treatment while others may have once been a valid concern, but are no longer a worry thanks to modern dentistry.
Let’s take a look at a few very common questions and concerns patients voice when they’re preparing for a dental crown.
1. Do I really need a dental crown? Can’t I just extract the bad tooth?
It’s sometimes possible to extract a damaged tooth rather than attempt to save it with a dental crown, but this seemingly easy route leads to many complications.
While extraction may solve the problem of a decayed or painful tooth, a missing tooth only creates further problems, such as shifting teeth, jaw bone loss, and even an increased risk for cavities. When your dentist suggests a dental crown, it’s not only to treat the immediate problem but also to protect the long-term health of your smile.
2. Are there other alternatives to treating my tooth?
Some situations may allow for a dental crown alternative to be used. For example, an inlay or onlay may be able to repair damage too large for a filling but manageable enough that a crown may not be the last resort. In the case of a cosmetic problem, such as a superficially chipped tooth, a patient who’s interested in a smile makeover may instead opt for porcelain veneers to cover an aesthetically flawed but otherwise structurally sound tooth.
If you’re a candidate for alternatives, Dr. Lang will go over these options during your consultation.
3. Dental crowns don’t actually look like real teeth, do they?
Actually, they absolutely do! Dr. Lang goes to great lengths to ensure your dental crown seamlessly matches your smile, from color and shape to translucency. Each porcelain dental crown is custom-milled and precisely color-matched to the shade of white needed to match your smile.
If you’re not currently happy with the brightness of your smile, Dr. Lang can help you by first whitening your smile to your desired shade and then having your lifelike dental crown designed. Since dental crowns can’t be whitened like natural teeth, this process ensures a perfect match.
4. I heard dental crowns cause bite misalignment. Will this happen to me?
Feeling as though your newly crowned tooth isn’t fitting right is an issue of design rather than the crown itself. This is a rare issue, but one that is easily remedied by a skilled dentist. Dr. Lang expertly shapes each crown to ensure your bite is the same if not better than it was before. This includes bite checking, where you’ll be asked to bite down and “tap tap tap” your teeth on a special paper to check for fit.
A small number of patients may find that after returning home and living with their crown for a few days that it still doesn’t feel quite right. No worries! Come on back and Dr. Lang will shape and polish the crown to achieve problem-free alignment.
5. Can my tooth decay underneath the crown?
Porcelain dental crowns are incredibly durable, but they aren’t impervious to tooth decay. While the crown itself is resistant, keep in mind that there is still a natural tooth tucked underneath. A dental crown won’t cause or prevent tooth decay; rather your oral hygiene will determine the health and longevity of your crown.
Dr. Lang places each crown using precise techniques to discourage the chance of decay, but you’ll also need to follow through with taking great care of your teeth. This includes following a great at-home dental care routine as well as seeing Dr. Lang for routine checkups and cleanings every 6 months to prevent plaque build-up.
6. Won’t I need to replace my dental crown after a few years?
Nope! Actually, if your dental crown was placed by a knowledgeable dentist like Dr. Lang and you take great care of your teeth, your dental crown can last over a decade! As long as the dental crown is sound and the tooth underneath is free from decay, there’s generally no reason to replace a dental crown until some sort of wear-and-tear is present.
That being said, Dr. Lang can remove your dental crown if you opt for a different form of treatment or if you decide you’d like a whiter smile and the crown no longer matches your needs.
Learn more about dental crowns by booking a consultation.
If you have a decayed tooth that needs protection or a discolored tooth that could use a makeover, dental crowns are likely a great choice. You can learn more about dental crowns and ask questions that weren’t covered here by booking a consultation with Dr. Lang.
Schedule an appointment today by calling our Middletown, OH office or filling out this easy online form.