When Do I Need a Crown?

Crowns or dental caps protect teeth, especially if they are made of porcelain, which is ideal for appearing like a natural tooth, while being very strong.

Although your teeth are the hardest part of your body, they can be damaged in many ways. Everyone gets tooth decay (aka dental caries) at some point in their lives: it’s second only to the common cold in frequency. The best prevention is to brush carefully for two minutes after breakfast and dinner and floss at the end of the day. But if the decay is extensive, after it is removed and filled a crown on top may be necessary to restore proper bite.

While the outer layer of a tooth, the enamel, is hard, it can even be reduced by sodas (even sugar-free ones), the acid in each swing affecting it for the next 20 minutes (alternating with water or brushing right afterwards helps reduce the negative impact).


Many people also grind their teeth while they sleep (known as bruxism), due to physical or emotional stress. If a partner doesn’t complain, the individual may not even know this occurs and this can wear down the tops of the teeth. Crowns will protect them and to prevent this from happening again, a personalized night guard (like a sports mouthguard) will be created to be worn during sleep. 

An accident can cause a tooth to be chipped or fractured and a crown hold it together, with crafting by a top dental lab with the exact shade of the neighboring teeth, so no one will even notice it is not your natural tooth.

Tooth Discoloration

Discolored teeth can be covered with a crown to improve appearance when simple whitening is not sufficient.

Misaligned Teeth

Misshapen or misaligned teeth can be covered by a cap that improves your bite.

If a tooth has been knocked out or becomes loose due to periodontal disease and needs to be extracted, a crown can be part of the replacement. It looks exactly like the visible part of the missing tooth and can be created and held in place over the gap by a fixed bridge attached to the neighboring teeth. This restores normal appearance, but also prevents misalignment. Unless the other teeth are prevented from moving, they will naturally start to lean in towards the gap and become themselves loose.

Unfortunately, a partial denture does not prevent this process when it replaces missing teeth. A natural erosion of the jawbone that supports the teeth continues. It can be stopped with a dental implant, which is anchored into the jawbone. Topped by a crown, this allows better chewing and clearer speaking, compared with a denture. Implants can, with proper care, be a permanent solution to missing teeth. 

Call today for an appointment to have a full dental examination to understand what your best options are for crowns or your other oral health needs.

Dr. Ash is the founder of Studio Dental Care. He earned his Doctorate at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, followed by two General Residencies at New York-Presbyterian / Weill-Cornell Hospital and the UCLA Sepulveda VA Hospital.

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