When your dentist tells you that you need a dental crown for a tooth, you might hesitate to agree to it because of the cost. You should realize that dentists recommend dental crowns for an important reason–to save a tooth. Getting a dental crown might be the only way you will be able to keep one of the teeth you have, and you may want to investigate this situation a little further before you decide to skip the crown.
Real Teeth Vs. Alternatives
Keeping your real teeth is always better than having them replaced, and dental crowns are the number one product available for this purpose. Here are three reasons you should try to keep your real teeth instead of having them pulled and replaced:
- They work better – Your permanent teeth are help tightly in place with roots that extend deep into the gums. Because of this, they work better than any type of replacement you could ever get.
- Comfort – Real teeth are more comfortable because they are natural. Teeth replacements are often uncomfortable because they are foreign to your body. They may hurt or fit wrong, and this may cause problems for you in the future.
- More affordable – Getting a dental crown can be costly; however, it is more affordable than the alternative options. A dental crown costs between $500 to $1,500, while an implant can cost $1000 to $3,000, plus you must pay for the crown for the tooth.
A dental crown is usually made of porcelain and is a cap that fits directly over the tooth. Because of this, you will still have the roots of the tooth and a majority of the tooth itself.
Situations When Crowns Are Needed
Anytime a portion of a tooth is missing or needs to be removed, a dentist will suggest using a dental crown to cover the tooth. Here are some of the more common reasons this happens:
- Too many cavities – A dentist can only insert so many fillings before the tooth cannot take anymore. Once a tooth reaches its limit on fillings, using a dental crown is the only option to save the tooth.
- Root canal – A root canal procedure typically requires part of a tooth to be removed. This is done to access the roots of the tooth, and it leaves the tooth as a partial tooth.
- Excessive tooth wear – If you grind your teeth, you may end up rubbing off the entire top of a tooth in your mouth. This leaves a tooth in a precarious position and dentists often recommend crowns in situations like this.
There are other times when dental crowns may also be required to protect teeth.
If you are against getting a dental crown, you have two main options you could choose:
- Leave the tooth as-is – If the decay can be removed from the tooth, you could leave the tooth as it is; however, the tooth will not look good, nor will it function well.
- Extract the tooth – The only other option is to have the tooth extracted. If you choose not to replace this tooth, you will have an empty gap inside your mouth. This can cause the other teeth to shift and may look bad.
If you decide to have the tooth extracted, you could always have it replaced with a dental bridge or an implant at some time in the future.
Keeping your real teeth is the best solution to this problem, even if it involves getting a dental crown. You can talk to your dentist about crowns and alternative options before you make up your mind.