The term “crown” or commonly used term “cap” is used to describe the process of preparing a tooth to make room for a cover that surrounds the tooth and protects it from breaking or chipping.
Why do I need a crown?
Fillings can only be so large before they are no longer beneficial to the tooth. Large fillings are often likely to chip, break, or leak, which can result in further complications.
A crown covers the tooth and provides strength; a large filling only covers the tooth but does not improve its strength.
If I need a crown do I have to get a root canal?
No, crowns are used when the doctor decides that a large filling will not provide any added benefit and may weaken the tooth. You do not necessarily need a root canal simply because you need a crown.
Why are crowns often recommended on teeth with root canals?
Oftentimes, root canals require crowns on top. This is because there is a large cavity, fracture, or large filling that requires a proper seal to make sure that the root canal does not have leakage and that the tooth does not fracture.
It is not uncommon for us to see teeth, especially molars, with excellent root canals. However, there are fractured teeth that we cannot save because the tooth did not receive a crown to strengthen it after the root canal.
Do crowns last forever?
Like anything in life, nothing lasts forever, but the more you can do to maintain your crown, the longer it will last. Flossing is essential, as well as continuing with regular checkups and cleanings to ensure that you increase the lifespan of your crown.
If the tooth is not bothering me, do I need a crown?
Sometimes a crown can be recommended before anything happens. We’ve found that prevention is the best medicine. When large fillings or cracks are left alone, they often cause issues that are complicated and require further and more expensive treatment.