A larger filling is usually not the best choice because when a tooth gets to the point of needing a crown, most of the tooth’s original enamel is broken or gone. Taking out an old filling and replacing it with a larger one takes away more of the original enamel, which makes the tooth weaker.
We don’t want the tooth to get so weak that it breaks or splits when you chew on it. The tooth might have to be extracted if it splits down the root. So most of the time, a larger filling is not the answer, especially when there are already small cracks in the enamel, which is very common.
Now let’s explain the crown procedure. A crown can be made out of porcelain, metal, or a combination of both, and it encapsulates the tooth to protect it from all sides and keep it from splitting. A traditional or digital impression is taken and used to craft the crown, so the crown will look like your original tooth with the same color, shape, and shade.
The crown is made in a lab (or milled in the office if the office has the technology). After the impression has been made, a temporary crown will be made out of a plastic material that will last for approximately two weeks while the crown is made in the lab. It is temporarily cemented in place.
A second appointment is needed if a lab makes the crown. During the second appointment, the crown is fitted, trimmed, and permanently cemented into place. The original tooth remains under the crown, but it is shorter and thinner.
You can eat normally, and if you had a root canal previously, it will protect the tooth from splitting if the tooth becomes brittle. The crown can be chewed on, brushed, and flossed like a regular tooth. It can last from 20 to 40 years if it is kept clean and well-maintained. Most of the time, patients are very happy to have saved teeth by getting crowns.
Dr. Pragya Jaiswal (BDS ,MDS, PHD, Root Canal Specialist )