If your dentist just told you that you’re in need of a dental crown, then you might have started to feel a little panicked. A dental crown can be a costly procedure only to the root canal and should be avoided.
While there are times that you’re going to need to get a crown to properly take care of your teeth, at Wayzata Dental, we first like to look at some of the alternatives to dental crowns. Alternatives can be much less invasive than traditional dental crowns and much more cost-effective.
Why You Might Need a Dental Crown
Here are some of the main reasons why you might need a dental crown.
- You have a weak tooth that needs to be made stronger. The original tooth might be fractured or heavily decayed.
- You might want to get a dental crown for aesthetic reasons. That’s a choice for you and your dentist.
- You had a previous restoration, and it’s now time for something more permanent. Perhaps the first attempt has now chipped or fallen off.
Each of these are valid reasons, but there are some ways that you can work around the need to get a full crown replaced.
Alternatives to Crowns
When dentists recommend crowns, it’s often because you need them. But if you really insist on not getting a crown, then thankfully, there are some different avenues that you can discuss with your dental professional.
By far, the most popular choice as an alternative to crowns is a porcelain onlay. A porcelain onlay is an extremely safe approach that preserves more of your natural tooth structure. This leads to an overall healthier tooth and mouth. To help avoid fracture and preserve enamel, the porcelain is bonded to your natural tooth’s enamel.
While this procedure is extremely beneficial, very few dentists in the US regularly perform the operation. It can take an extensive amount of time and a high level of skill.
If you’re not ready to get a full dental crown either because of the cost or some other reason, you can sometimes get a filling to buy some time before you need a crown installed.
Using Provisional Crowns
The use of an in-office fabricated crown or a provisional crown can be bonded to the tooth and buy the patient some more time. While this is still not a long-term fix, it can last for a good amount of time if a patient is unsure how they’ll afford a full crown. On average, a provisional crown will only last between 3-9 months. If you keep a provisional crown in place for too long, it can cause you to lose the tooth altogether.
In-Office Lab Indirect Resin Crowns
Even fewer dentists than those that use porcelain onlay use this approach. In-office lab indirect resin crowns are a great short term alternative to traditional crowns. Made out of resin instead of porcelain, the indirect resin crown is made in the office by the dentist and finished on the same day. Although seldom performed, this method can save a lot of money and time in the short term.
You never want it to come to this, but removing a tooth is actually one of the only permanent ways to get away from having to get a crown. Additionally, if you’re not ready to put a crown in, you can get your tooth pulled and then later install a crown. This is a somewhat invasive treatment, but it’s a natural way to hold you over until you’re ready for the crown.
Find the Right Dentist
If you decide to get a dental crown installed, we recommend you find a really good dentist to do the crown. First, make sure that the dentist has really good credentials and that they have a lot of experience performing crowns. The crown needs not only to fit well but also look great! Sometimes a crown will last less than 5 years when it should last for over 20-30 years on average.
If you’re looking for a second opinion on your dentist’s prescribed dental crown, we’d love to help. At Wayzata Dental, we’re all about using minimally invasive dental treatments. We’d be happy to talk with you about how we can help you get the right dental treatment for your condition.