In simple terms, a dental crown essentially refers to a "cap" that's placed over a person's natural tooth. Crowns may be placed over a tooth after a root canal procedure, to restore the appearance of a chipped tooth, or even to top off a dental implant. However, there are a lot of misunderstandings about dental crowns that those who care about their oral health should be aware of.
Myth 1: Dental Crowns Are Obvious to the Human Eye
A lot of times, dental patients are hesitant to have a crown put on their teeth because they think the crown will be too obvious and will take away from the overall appearance of their smile. However, this really couldn't be further from the truth. Dental crown technology has come a long way, and crowns (when done properly) are pretty much indistinguishable from a natural tooth.
Myth 2: Crowns Are Meant to Last Forever
Unfortunately, no dental work comes with a "lifetime guarantee." While it's true that with proper maintenance, care, and cleaning, a dental crown can last for many years--it's extremely rare for a crown to last a lifetime; it will likely need to be redone at some point. Still, you can prolong the life of your dental crown by making sure to clean it properly and see your dentist as recommended.
Myth 3: All Root Canals Require a Crown
It's true that many people who have a root canal procedure done will require a crown to protect the drilled-out tooth from further damage, cracking, or decay. However, it's important to understand that not all instances of a root canal procedure will require a crown. In fact, root canals that are done on the front teeth typically don't need a crown. On the other hand, crowns are most often needed following root canals on the back molars.
Myth 4: Teeth With Crowns Aren't Susceptible to Cavities
Don't think that just because you have a crown, you don't have to worry about getting a cavity in that tooth. The crown itself isn't susceptible to decay, but without the proper care and cleaning, you could very well end up with decay in the tooth around the crown.
Now that you have a better understanding of the realities related to dental drowns, you can take better care of your own dental health in the event that you're ever told you need a crown for yourself.