If you have a tooth that has decayed significantly, a normal dental filling may not be all you need to fix the problem. In some situations, a dentist may recommend using a crown and a filling to fix the problematic tooth. Here are two reasons why crowns and fillings are used together.
Decay Has Destroyed So Much Tooth That The Tooth Could Break
When a tooth has a very large cavity, the chances are greater that the tooth will crack or break. This occurs because the tooth lacks the proper amount of material to provide support to chew food.
The tooth's natural crown, or the part of your tooth that extends past your gums, may need additional support once the filling is placed in the tooth. Unfortunately, the filling material doesn't have the same strength as porcelain. The bonding material is simply too weak to support a tooth that already has a significant portion of it missing.
Your dentist can put a dental crown onto the tooth, which should give the tooth all the strength it needs to allow you to chew food. The porcelain is simply stronger than the bonding material used for fillings, and helps fortify the tooth's crown, so that you do not have to make compromises when eating.
The Tooth Is More Likely To Become Infected Without A Crown
All of the decayed parts of your tooth must be removed to place a filling into it. For a large cavity, the necessary drilling may be very invasive, which removes a significant amount of the tooth's outer and inner layer.
The outside layer of your teeth is made of tooth enamel and dentin, which prevents bacteria in your mouth from getting into the teeth. If that large filling is not flush with the outside surface of a tooth, the filling material may leave part of the tooth exposed to bacteria.
A crown is used to protect the tooth from bacteria, and it can do this because the crowns are cemented directly to the tooth. Bacteria won't be able to get to portions underneath the crown and cause more damage, such as a tooth infection.
Only your dentist will know if a crown is necessary to protect a tooth that has a very large cavity in it. For more information about how a crown could be used to improve your filling, speak with your dentist about when it is right to use both procedures. For more information, visit websites like http://www.barnstabledental.com.