Dental Crown Problems
Crown problems can be avoided or corrected with treatment from a Specialist* in Crowns and Bridges, like Dr.Kilcoyne, and also for all advanced Cosmetic Dentistry problems that need attention. High-Tech dentistry can have Crown issues including those around neglected Dental Implants, mini Implants, immediate Dental Implants, correct Crown choices, Bridges, Veneers, Precision Dentures, Tooth Bleaching, Teeth Whitening, Cosmetic Bonding, Latest Ceramic Restorations, Second Opinions, Smile Profiling, Gum Diseases, Tooth wear and worn, uneven teeth, Periodontal Plastic Surgery, TMJ's, Difficult Occlusions, Excessive Wear Cases, Root canal treatment, Trauma and Emergencies; Anxious or Nervous Patients welcome too!
How do I know when a crown needs doing?
The commonest reasons are gross decay, large restorations hollowing out the tooth, a heavy bite causing fractures that are getting worse or for Cosmetic reasons when the tooth is already restored or compromised for some reason. Another reason is acute trauma, such as an external blow, or chronic trauma over an extended period of time, such as excessive clenching, grinding etc. which can even fracture crowns occasionally too ( for further details, click on tooth wear/grinding section in this patient info. section). Even Dentists struggle to judge sometimes when is the best time to Crown a tooth. Ideally, it is the day before anything goes wrong, but no-one can judge that accurately. Unfortunately pain, tooth-fracture etc. are often very late signs of problems that happen suddenly, making saving the tooth more complex or risky (such as involving root-canal treatment and posts, as well as a Crown, which is now hanging onto much less tooth) or even impossible, resulting in tooth loss. However, neither does one want to Crown a tooth too early. Getting this balanced judgement right has to be done on an individual basis. This will often be a joint decision between patient and Dentist, ideally after some monitoring has occurred yet before a major problem has suddenly happened, thus preventing complications and tooth-loss. Sometimes patients choose to wait and "risk it", accepting that they may face complications and higher costs, or even tooth loss later. Others may choose to Crown their teeth earlier, to preserve as much good tooth as possible long-term. One cannot generalise here and sometimes teeth will be lost that might have been saved. That is why you need individual advice and monitoring from your Dentist or Specialist.
Just see in the picture below the vast choices in Crowns and other options - a Specialist can help you decide which options are best for you AND deliver them!
How do I know when my existing Crown is failing or needs renewing?
A Crown can fail for a number of reasons. Firstly, it may have been placed too late. If one waits until a tooth has been totally fractured away, or a vertical fracture has gone into the underlying root, the foundations have been (often unknowingly) previously compromised beyond repair. If this happens, the whole tooth could well be lost, as there is no effective long-term treatment for a vertical fracture.
While it's true that a crown protects and strengthens a tooth, sometimes a crowned tooth will get a cavity beyond the crown. Decay never comes through the crown, but they can get started at the edge where the crown and tooth meet (eg: at the root surface), because it's the tooth root that can still decay. Unfortunately, this is one of the toughest spots to keep free of plaque, so it is important to brush and floss well, maintain regular check-ups etc.
In the early stages, any decayed cavities are easy to catch and fix with a sealing/filling, unless they're where they can't easily be reached.
However, once established for a long time, cavities can grow quickly because they have already got past the first line of defence. At this point, the crown must be replaced. By replacing the crown now, before the cavity has reached the pulp chamber (nerve) of the tooth, you can avoid a root canal treatment or other complications. However should a root Canal treatment be required, this may still be able to do through the biting surface or behind the tooth, so the Crown still looks OK, but it may need replacing completely or even a post too if the nerve died due to new decay or infection.
Good hygiene and reduced sugar attacks from your diet have an important role in preventing decay. This gets forgotten as the years pass sometimes, but is important like regular dental visits. Crowns done in time may be stronger and more resilient, but the tooth they are bonded to still needs regular self-care and Professional monitoring.
Other reasons for replacing Crowns include to improve their shade, shape, size etc. (cosmetic) or to improve the bite. Where a number of Crowns and Veneers are involved, then to get a better match and curved smile Profile, a complete Smile Makeover may be the best improvement to the whole smile.
Dental teams can also visit www.4everlearning.com for unlimited verifiable CPD online for all GDC registrants ( Dentists and DCPs !), Whether Dental Nurses, Dental Hygienists, Dental therapists, Dental Technicians, Clinical Dental Technicians, Orthodontic Therapists etc, for CPD courses and teamworking.
You can use the above website menu or just click-a-link here for Specialist or Advanced aspects of Cosmetic Dentistry, Tooth Veneers, Tooth Whitening, Dental Tooth Implants and smaller Mini-Implants, Dental Ceramic Crowns, Gum Diseases and Bad Breath, Root Canal treatments or Dental CPD Courses, are just some of the subjects you can learn more about here on our award winning dental website www.smilespecialist.co.uk.
As always, Prevention is cheaper and better than Cure - that includes Preventing making bad choices based on costs alone!
Wishing you good Dental Health AND a Smile to be proud of, from all at the SmileSpecialist® Team.