A dental crown has many uses; you can use it to cover misshapen teeth, strengthen weak or diseased teeth, and cover discolored teeth, among other uses. However, a crown is not the only dental restoration that can do these things. Here are some of the alternative dental treatments you may use instead of a dental crown:
A dental onlay sits somewhere between the dental filling and the dental crown. This is what you get if your teeth aren't too damaged to require a dental crown but it too damaged to support a dental filling. A dental onlay covers the biting or chewing surface of a tooth, but doesn't extend over the sides like a conventional crown; this is why onlays are also known as particle crowns. This alternative is suitable if only the upper surface of your tooth is damaged, and the rest of the tooth is still intact.
While a dental crown covers the entire tooth surface, a dental veneer only covers the front surface of the tooth. Therefore, if only the front surface of the tooth is damaged or need to be restored, then a veneer can work instead of a crown. Maybe your teeth are discolored, and you just want to make them whiter; in such a case, veneers are better than crowns. Note, however, that the veneer may not strengthen your teeth as much as a crown.
It may also be possible to get dental fillings instead of crowning the affected teeth. Don't forget that dental fillings are usually cheaper, their treatments are faster, and they also involve less damage to tooth structures as compared to dental crowns. However, just like in the case of veneers, a dental filling may not offer the same protective service to your teeth as the crown caps. In fact, in some cases, the filling only delays your dental crown treatment because the affected tooth ends up getting damaged and requiring a crown later on.
Lastly, you may also elect to extract the damaged tooth instead of covering it up with a crown. This is the cheapest alternative to getting a dental crown – at least in the short term. Unfortunately, it is not an ideal alternative because it calls for additional dental work, for example, you may need a dental implant or denture to replace the extracted teeth. Therefore, it is only a viable alternative for teeth that have been damaged beyond saving.
Therefore, if you have a dental problem that you think you should solve with a dental crown, consult your dentist for advice first. In some cases, the dentist may think of an alternative treatment that may suit your case better than a crown.
Contact a company like Ramtown Dental Associates for more information and assistance.