Dental Article / GENERAL DENTAL /

Alternatives to dental crowns (General dentistry)

6 Feb 2021

Your dentist has advised you to get a dental crown but you’re not sure if you really need it. The tooth has not given you any pain or discomfort. Can you leave it? Are there other alternatives?


What is a dental crown?

Dental crowns otherwise known as “caps” is a tooth-shaped, custom-made covering that is placed over a tooth, either for protection or cosmetic enhancement. Dental crowns are used to restore a tooth’s shape, size and strength, as well as improving its overall appearance. What you should essentially expect from your crown is one that replicates the natural tooth and blends in with the rest of the teeth in your mouth.


Why is a crown needed?

A dental crown is required when the tooth is weak or needs improvement in it’s shape and colour.

Natural teeth can decay or wear down over time. The tooth is then weaker and in need of protection. Natural teeth can also appear dark and worn so the new crown will improve the appearance. Keep in mind that most teeth DO NOT have any symptoms even though they are weak. Usually by the time you do have symptoms further treatment is required.

So a new dental crown can prevent further treatment like root canal therapy or tooth loss. This can happen once a natural tooth has completely broken down and becomes infected.

If we see some of the following you may benefit from a dental crown.

  • chipped, cracked or worn-down tooth
  • weak tooth
  • support required for a dental bridge
  • tooth with a large filling
  • covering a dental implant
  • covering misshaped or discoloured teeth.


Can I avoid a dental crown?

The best way to avoid a dental crown is prevention. This means brushing your teeth twice daily, reducing the consumption of sweets and going to the dentist twice a year.

As your dentist we will help make sure your teeth are well cared for. We will take dental x-rays to ensure that we haven’t missed anything.

If we do advise for a crown then it can be avoided often by simply placing a filling. This filling unfortunately will have a much shorter lifespan. We eat with our teeth and this applies forces to your tooth. A weak tooth not protected by a crown can become broken or infected. The benefits of the filling though is that a better time can be made for you to get your dental crown – a time that is more convenient or one that suits your budget. Remember in the meantime to not bite too hard on the weak tooth.

We will often guide you as to when it is best to crown your teeth.


Further questions or concerns?

We are here to help so feel free to call and schedule an appointment with your dentist today and get back to owning a confident smile!