Sometimes you need a crown. A crown is like a miniature armour coating for the tooth so that no matter how you bite on the tooth, it is protected and strong.
The structural integrity of a tooth is compromised when they are worn down, cracked or if they have a larger filling, making the tooth more prone to having a piece of tooth fracture away, or the tooth splitting down the root in which case it cannot be saved.
Many patients ask if you need a root canal if you have a crown, and this seems to be an area of confusion.
If you need a crown because the tooth structure has been compromised by large fillings, cracks or a fracture you generally will not need a root canal. If the tooth is sore to bite on, sensitive to cold or hot or if you feel some swelling, then yes it is possible that Dr. Goodlin or Dr. Shasha will need to perform a root canal before the crown is done. When teeth are compromised it is possible, although unlikely, that a tooth may need a root canal after the crown is placed. In these rare instances the root canal is completed through the existing crown and then repaired most often without the need to replace the crown.
The area of confusion seems to stem from the fact that if you have already had a root canal, we always recommend a crown after. The root canal causes the tooth to become brittle and therefore highly prone to breaking.
Sometimes a tooth will break in a way that a crown can be placed to repair it, but often the tooth will fracture under the bone and it will not be able to be saved. This is why a crown is a good preventive measure for those teeth that have been structurally compromised.
In these cases Dr Goodlin & Dr. Shasha use a minimally invasive technique to remove only 1mm of tooth structure off the top and around the sides of the tooth. Smiles Dental is one of only very few offices in Canada that has its' own in house dental lab where your crown is made to measure on site. This allows Dr. Goodlin or Dr. Shasha to control the amount of tooth removed so that you don't end up with a little peg left underneath!
The national average time a crown lasts is about 10 years. Dr. Goodlin and Dr. Shasha make it a goal to have all their work last at least 20, but there are cases where decay gets in under the crown and it will need to be replaced over time.