Are Dental Crowns Only Useful After Root Canals? 2 Additional Ways Dental Crowns Improve Smiles

Posted on: 28 March 2017

If you are like most people, you have heard of dental crowns and know of their most common use of restoring a tooth after a root canal. While dental crowns, sometimes called "caps," are useful after a root canal, they are also used to improve smiles in several other ways. Read on to learn about two additional ways dental crowns are used by dentists to improve the health and appearance of smiles. 

Crowns Are an Integral Part of Dental Bridges

There are two main types of dental bridges: traditional bridges and cantilever (also called Maryland) bridges. Cantilever bridges are less common than traditional bridges, and dentists don't need to rely on dental crowns when installing them. However, dentists must rely on dental crowns when installing traditional dental bridges that are used to replace one or more missing teeth.

Without dental crowns, a false tooth or "pontic" that is used to replace a missing tooth would have nothing to anchor onto to stay in place in the mouth. So before a pontic can be placed in a person's mouth to replace a missing tooth, two dental crowns are placed on the two teeth that sit just next to the missing tooth the pontic will replace. The pontic can then be attached right to the crowns and the missing tooth can then have a solid, strong replacement that is held securely in place by the two adjacent crowns. 

Dental Crowns Can Save Cracked or Chipped Teeth

Natural teeth can, unfortunately, develop cracks or chips due to trauma that occurs due to an auto accident, a sport, or even just falling on the ground. The way a dentist repairs a cracked or chipped tooth depends greatly on where the crack or chip is, how severe it is, and which tooth is damaged. 

While small chips in teeth can often be fixed with bonding and some tooth fractures require that a tooth have a root canal or even be extracted, some cracked or chipped teeth are best treated with placement of a crown. Crowns are often placed on teeth that are deeply cracked and causing a person pain. The crown helps hold the natural tooth structure together and reduce pain. 

If tooth cups are broken off, then a crown is also often needed to restore the tooth and placement of a crown on a front tooth can improve its appearance when it is cracked badly and bonding isn't an option or has failed in the past. 

In addition to being a vital final step in the root canal process for many people, dental crowns are also used in various other ways to restore smiles. Not only are they a very important part of a traditional bridge and an option that can help save a cracked or chipped tooth, but many people also choose to have beautiful white crowns placed on teeth just to improve their appearance. 

To learn more about dental crowns, contact services like Tony Parsley, DMD.