Do I Really Need a Dental Crown?

Do I really need a dental crown?

I was told I needed a dental crown. Do I really? How do I know for sure?

There are several reasons you may need a crown, which is a restoration that fully covers the tooth. Two important questions: “Is the tooth cleansable and is it strong?”

Fillings that are breaking down accumulate bacteria and cause cavities. When a filling is more than 50% of the tooth and/or is replacing a cusp (the “bump” of the tooth that allows you to chew food), the tooth is no longer strong enough to withstand chewing forces.

A tooth that has had a root canal needs a crown. These teeth can have a good prognosis, but they are not as strong as teeth that have never had a root canal. Protecting the tooth with a crown will prevent fracture. A tooth that has a larger filling and has fracture lines in the remaining structure is considered unstable. Using the tooth for chewing is dangerous because it has a higher chance of breaking.

Teeth that are excessively worn due to grinding may need crowns to replace missing tooth structure. This restores the tooth back to its original form allowing it to be protected and have more effective biting and chewing.

If you are experiencing any of these situations, it would benefit you to get a crown before anything happens that creates additional breakdown, which is a potential emergency and a more expensive problem.


About the author

Stacey Sparkman Hall, D.D.S.

Dr. Stacey Hall brings her unique outlook on dental care and her personable optimism to the Williamsburg Center for Dental Health. With nine years of solid dental expertise as a dentist in Williamsburg, she decided in early 2011 to branch out and open her own local practice. After completing her undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in 1998, Dr. Hall graduated from VCU’s MCV School of Dentistry in 2002, receiving her D.D.S. She is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and was awarded member fellowship to the International Congress of Oral Implantology in 2008. She leads the elite Tidewater Dawson Study Club and is a scholar with the interntaionally renowned Dawson Academy. As a Dawson ambassador, Dr. Hall also assists in the training of students in the Dawson Academy. Stacey and her husband Michael have been blessed with three beautiful girls, Lanie, Gracie and Abbie. She is a loyal Virginia Tech Football fan, and enjoys Bible study and missions work.

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