Of all facial expressions, none are so powerful and immediately recognizable as your smile. If you’ve lost your tooth, or a large part of it, smiling freely proves more difficult. On one hand, you don’t want others to perceive you as standoff-ish, but at the same time you don’t want them to see your broken tooth or gap. It’s not just a matter of appearances, says Dr. Vi Mai. Mai, who provides dental crowns in Garland, TX, explains that damaged teeth can also have an adverse impact on your oral health. Dental crowns address both the cosmetic and functional aspects of tooth loss.
What Exactly Is a Dental Crown?
Dental crowns, which you may have heard of as “caps,” are placed over a badly damaged tooth to prevent further decay and destruction. Until recently, patients had limited options for crowns, most of which were made of gold, silver, or a mixture of metals. These materials, while very durable, are also very conspicuous. Metal crowns aren’t widely used in modern dentistry. All-porcelain crowns appear the most natural and can be tinted to closely match your natural tooth color. Dr. Mai notes that porcelain is hypoallergenic, and she often uses them on the front and side teeth. A third option, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, combines the advantages of both materials.
When Do Dentists Recommend Dental Crowns?
Crowns have many uses in dentistry. If you require a dental bridge to replace several missing teeth, Dr. Mai will use crowns to hold the bridge in place. When the extent of decay rules out a traditional filling, a crown is used instead. This restores function to your tooth and prevents the spread of decay. Other appropriate uses include:
- Protecting the tooth after a root canal treatment
- Salvaging a tooth that has not been entirely consumed by decay, avoiding extraction
- Masking imperfections, such as misshapen or discolored teeth
- Repairing an otherwise healthy tooth damaged during an accident
Dr. Mai emphasizes the importance of seeking treatment for damaged teeth, or even for a single damaged tooth. Tooth loss affects your ability to speak clearly and chew your food properly. If you have lost multiple teeth, your cheeks may appear to cave inward, appearing unhealthy and aged. The healthy teeth surrounding the broken tooth are forced to withstand more pressure from your bite, making them more susceptible to decay, chips, and cracks.
Has your tooth sustained severe damage? To learn more about restorative dentistry options, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Vi Mai, contact our Garland, TX dentist office at (972) 530-0552. We proudly serve patients living in Allen, Wylie, Murphy, Richardson, Dallas, and the surrounding cities.