When a patient’s tooth is chipped or broken, but not damaged to the point where an extraction is required, an implant crown is usually the best solution. Crowns are synthetic caps that fit directly over the tooth, offering protection from the further decay and in effect restoring its normal shape, appearance and function.
Fake teeth have undergone many changes throughout the years, and now are designed to mimic a person’s natural set almost completely. However, no manmade device can replace the functionality of real teeth, which is why most dentists are hesitant perform an extraction unless absolutely necessary.
When Should a Patient Get an Implant Crown?
There are a number of reasons why a person may need a crown inserted over a tooth, and most of these are when the tooth in question has been compromised by either an infection or trauma.
- Implant crowns keep decaying teeth intact and prevent future dental caries. Fillings are generally prescribed for minor cavities, but crowns are better in instances of severe decay that jeopardizes the outer structure. They can help keep cracks from spreading and maintain the overall integrity of the tooth without warranting an extraction.
- Restoration and repair is the other main benefit provided by implant crowns. A broken tooth can be salvaged instead of replaced, leaving the patient with a healthy looking and functioning smile once more.
- To support teeth with larger than average fillings. When the better part of a patient’s tooth features silver amalgam or another type of filling, it is likely only a matter of time before the tooth needs replacing. A minimum amount is needed for chewing; implant crowns will offer that much-needed support.
- Crowns are not only placed over existing teeth, as they are also oftentimes used to cover implants that have demonstrated signs of wear. These devices are not permanent, but just the same with real teeth, a crown can stop the need for the subsequent installation of a new implant.
Implant crowns are made from a wide array of materials, all of which have their own pros and cons. What works for one patient may not be the best for another, with the determining factors being the person’s age (stainless steel is usually the only type used in infants and small children) and the current condition of their teeth. Porcelain and ceramic crowns more closely resemble the appearance of natural teeth, but are more prone to chipping.