Is it possible to crowning a live tooth: pros and cons

When it comes to installing a crown, 90% of patients think that they will have to remove the dental nerve. But in reality, this is far from the case. There are cases in which you can put a crown on a live tooth, and this will not incur any negative consequences in the form of pain, inflammation, and gum problems. In this article, we will consider in detail the process of installing a crown on a live tooth, analyze the pros and cons, and also tell you in which cases which crown is best to put.

What is a tooth crown for?

A dental crown is a micro-prosthesis that is used to eliminate dental defects and restore the shape and chewing function of the tooth. It looks like a cap that is put on the tooth and completely conveys the color, shape and position of the teeth.

Most often, the installation of a crown on a tooth occurs when it is severely damaged and a filling is not enough. But this process has its own nuances, the main of which is the fact that the tooth must be shaved down so that the crown is well fixed. Such shaving used to lead to the fact that the tooth had to be depulped, in other words, to make it dead by cutting off the dental nerve. However, there are cases when this process can be avoided and the tooth can be left alive.

It is worth remembering that the decision on whether to remove the nerve or leave it is made only by the doctor, based on your clinical indications.

Why put a crown on a live tooth

The nerves and vessels that are inside the tooth (pulp) are responsible for the exchange of nutrients, and also protect the tooth from various microbes. Therefore, when they are removed, the tooth automatically becomes more fragile, darkens over time, because it no longer receives nutrients. As a result, the mechanical properties of the tooth also weaken. And it leads either to caries or a fracture, which again leads to the installation of a crown, or even tooth removal procedure and installation of an implant.

That is why it is still better to put a crown on a live tooth, which would guarantee its longer service life.

Indications needs of a dental crown on a live tooth

  • Minor tooth destruction. When a tooth often breaks, wears out, or is slightly pricked, thereby not fulfilling its direct functions, it will be possible to restore its shape with the help of dental crowns.
  • Aesthetics improvement. If you want to change the color or shape of your teeth, then in addition to veneers, crowns can also help. As a rule, for aesthetic purposes, ceramic or zirconium crowns are most often used, the price of which varies from €450 to €900.
  • High sensitivity. If your teeth react sharply to cold / hot, sweet or sour, then a crown can create a protective barrier. There are other ways to avoid such situations, which are described in the article on how to get rid of tooth sensitivity.
  • Increased fragility and demineralization of enamel.
  • Dental bridge installation.

Stages of a crown installation on a live tooth

Stage 1. Initial examination and consultation

Diagnostics of the teeth condition, the inspection of x-rays and the preparation of a further treatment plan.

Stage 2. Polishing and treatment of diseases (optional)

Professional teeth cleaning and polishing. It will help to accurately choose the color of the crown.

Dental treatment for caries and other diseases that may cause undesirable consequences in the future.

Stage 3. Tooth preparation

Giving the tooth the necessary shape for the subsequent installation of the crown. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia because with the help of special equipment the doctor will need to remove a small layer of enamel.

Stage 4. Crown creation

After the preparation of the tooth, the doctor will take an impression and send it to the dental laboratory for further production of an individual dental crown. This process can take from 1-2 days to a week. A temporary crown is placed on the patient while it is being made.

Stage 5. Fitting and installation of a dental crown

Checking the crown for convenience and its subsequent fixation with dental cement.

What crown to put on a live tooth

It is best to install a ceramic crown on a living tooth, as it requires little shaving down, compared to a ceramic-metal counterpart, where the tooth will have to be heavily prepared.

Typically, the amount of labial reduction for ceramics crowns is up to 1 mm, and for cermets – up to 2 mm.

Also, other metal-free zirconia crowns, CEREC or E-max or CEREC crowns can be considered as an option.

You can learn more about the types of crowns in this article.

Crown on a live tooth: Pros and Cons

As we can see, putting a crown on a live tooth is not only possible, but also necessary, if this does not contradict the patient's clinical indications. The main advantages of this method of installation is that the tooth can serve you for many more years. And you will also save money on tooth depulpation manipulations, which entails cleaning the canals and their healing, which takes your time and causes discomfort. Therefore, if it is possible, then the answer to the question of whether it is possible to put a crown on a live tooth will definitely be yes. In the case against, only the fact that you have contraindications to this procedure can play.

author
ALEKSANDR MAKAROV
Dentist, surgeon, orthopedist

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