You have a broken tooth, and you need a dental crown. But, while your dentist is examining you, they are also trying to determine if you have enough tooth structure to get a crown.
What does that mean?
A dental crown needs enough tooth structure to be able to restore a tooth. Without it, the crown's retentiveness will dramatically decrease, making it more likely to fail.
How can we tell if you have enough tooth structure? Well, the more walls your tooth has, the higher the chances of a successful restoration. The good news is that we need as little as one tooth wall to place a dental crown and restore your oral health.
But what if you don't have enough tooth structure? What options do you have?
While the answer depends on how little structure is left, dentists generally can work around this impediment to restore your tooth.
If you need just a bit more structure for the dentist to be able to place the crown safely, then they will likely use composite bonding to build and reshape the tooth.
This is the same material used for bonding and fillings, so you can rest assured that it's quite durable. The dentist will apply it to your tooth to give it enough structure and then use it as a base for the crown.
If your tooth has been severely damaged and there's barely any structure left, then the dentist will use something similar to an implant to be able to restore your tooth.
First, they will open the tooth and drill down your root canal to clean and remove the infected pulp. Then, they will insert a metal post through the root canal. The post will be a bit higher than your natural tooth structure but don't worry; that's a normal part of the process.
Next, the dentist will close the canal and seal your tooth. Then, they will build the dental crown and attach it to the metal post inserted into your root canal.
If your teeth have been affected so badly that neither of these options is enough to restore them with the help of a root canal, then your dentist will probably recommend extraction and another tooth restoration treatment, such as a dental implant or a bridge.
Are you worried about a broken or damaged tooth and aren't sure if you can save it? Dr. Nicole Vane at Moonlight Beach Dental can help you find the right treatment for you.
Send us a message online, tell us about your problem, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.