A dental crown is used to rebuild and safeguard a tooth which has actually been significantly damaged or damaged. It resembles a cap that fits comfortably over the staying tooth structure, and is generally made of an extremely strong dental material: a gold alloy, dental ceramic (porcelain) or a mix of the two. The crown is bonded or sealed to what remains of the tooth’s natural crown. They typically last a very long time, often years.
What Is It?
Decay is a disease procedure caused by the bacteria that live in the human mouth: we often describe this bacterial layer as ‘dental plaque’. Plaque bacteria take in dietary sugars and produce an acidic waste item: this gradually liquifies the enamel, ultimately producing a cavity (hole) which might have to be repaired (filled) by your dental professional.
How Does Tooth Decay Develop Under Crown?
Often a tooth with a crown can become decayed – a situation that surprises some people, since of course crowns are made from metal or porcelain and therefore they cannot be dissolved by the acid produced by dental plaque. So a crown itself can’t get decay…
However, the underlying tooth is still susceptible to the acid attacks. Really typically, (particularly if the crown isn’t frequently flossed), plaque will accumulate at the intersection of crown and tooth (which is generally at gum level), and it is here where the cavity can start. Once established, the cavity can grow quickly, burrowing under the crown and softening the tooth beneath.
In worse-case circumstances, the whole tooth can be turned to ‘mush’ under the crown (a scenario which needs elimination of the crown and tooth root, leaving a gap that must then be filled with a bridge, denture or implant). In some cases the decay reaches the nerve of the tooth and causes an abscess (in this situation, root canal treatment might be an option along with replacement of the crown: nevertheless, the tooth might still need to be removed if the damage is undue).
See also: Pain in a Crowned Tooth.
Preventing Decay Under A Crown
If you have a crown, your dental practitioner will most likely have actually advised that you have X-rays on a regular basis, so that if decay establishes it can be located early while it is still little. In many cases, little cavities can be effectively filled without risk to the crown.
As always, prevention is the essential! Brush and floss all of your teeth (including those with fillings and crowns) every day: visit your dental practitioner regularly, and be sure to have your dental X-rays regularly too.