There are many reasons for having dental crowns put it. One is cosmetic, of course. They can be used to cover misshapen or discolored teeth. However, as the American Dental Association points out, the majority of the reasons for using dental crowns are for your health. This includes restoring a broken tooth, protecting a severely decayed one, or affixing a bridge. Find out if a crown is right for you.
Teeth can become broken in a variety of ways, including cracking them on hard objects or during accidents. The break can expose the nerve, causing pain. It also provides a break in the enamel, which opens your tooth up to decay. You might be able to get away with keeping your broken tooth exposed for a while, but eventually it's going to deteriorate. A dental crown can prevent this process so that the tooth doesn't need pulling. Likewise, the crown redistributes the stress evenly across your tooth when you're chewing, so you feel less pain.
In a similar vein, a tooth with an overly large filling can be weakened. Generally a filling strengthens the tooth. However when there's more filling than tooth, the overall structure is compromised. Again, a dental crown works to distribute the stress and just plain hold the tooth together. The end result is a much stronger tooth structure.
A root canal can result in a tooth similar to one with a large filling. That's because the basic process of a root canal is to drill down from the top of the tooth to clean out the infected pulp chamber. Not only is your tooth more hollow now, but it has that hole in the top. A filling may be sufficient, but most dentists recommend a crown for the restoration process.
Worn Down Teeth
Two conditions can cause the teeth to become excessively worn down. The first is acid reflux or bulimia, both of which expose the teeth to stomach acid. The teeth can become small and soft with little to no enamel. The other is bruxism, or teeth grinding. In this case the condition actually causes the teeth to become ground away. In either instance, it's necessary to apply crowns to restore the viability of the teeth.
When you lose a tooth, one of the methods for replacing it is with a bridge. There is more than one way to affix the bridge. However, many dentists prefer attaching it via a crown on either side. This results in a more stable and secure application.