With more than 2.4 billion people around the globe suffering from tooth decay, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a cavity under a crown is not an uncommon occurrence. It should actually be expected, especially since tooth decay can make it necessary for a person to get a crown.
Why? Continue reading if you want to understand this common oral health problem further.
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What is a Crown and What Causes Cavities Under Them?
Before we go into detail about tooth decay under a crown, you might first need to learn a few things about crowns and why they’re prone to decay. Also commonly called ‘caps’, crowns are tooth covers that are placed over a tooth. They’re cemented in place and are made to cover the problematic tooth.
Crowns can come in traditional, onlays, and ¾ varieties. These varieties have different coverages, depending on what your tooth requires. Traditional ones cover the entire visible portion of a tooth while onlays and ¾ crowns only cover partial areas of the problematic tooth.
What does a tooth look like under a crown? The problematic tooth is usually re-shaped by the dentist before they put the cap on. This ensures that you won’t feel uncomfortable with the addition. They can file down and fill the teeth to reshape it and to provide ample room for the crown.
There are tons of reasons why people get crowns. They can be used for:
Aesthetic purposes to cover deformed, discolored, and broken teeth.
Additional protection for weak teeth and dental implants.
Support for dental bridges.
Hold together a filled or broken tooth.
Support a filled tooth with not much tooth left.
In the simplest terms, they’re practically used to support and protect damaged teeth on most occasions. They’ll be required when a tooth is in seriously bad shape and could be a saving grace for some folks who have poor oral hygiene.
Crowns can last from 5 to 15 years, depending on the quality and material of the add-on. How the wearer maintains their oral health can also determine how long they can last.
Unfortunately, the very reason that prompted some folks to get a crown can also be the reason why these dental add-ons are also highly at risk of developing more cavities. This is especially true in the case of tooth decay.
If you don’t improve your dental maintenance after getting a dental cap, the tooth under crown will still be highly vulnerable to cavities. You can have issues with your damaged tooth at the same rate as how fast a cavity can form if you refuse to take good care of your teeth.
So if you didn’t really change your ways and improve your oral hygiene, you can still have rotten teeth under crowns.
Since crowns are just placed on top of your damaged tooth, they don’t really eliminate the other problems that can arise from poor oral hygiene. This is why it’s a must to keep your teeth in great shape, especially if you’re already aware that there are issues with them.
What Happens When You Develop a Cavity Under a Crown?
Tooth decay under crowns is largely similar to when a regular tooth gets cavities. It becomes weak, and damaged and you start to feel crowned tooth pain.
The decay is also commonly caused by the same thing: plaque. When plaque builds up on the gum line and not removed right away, it will eat away at the protective layer of your tooth. This will weaken your tooth’s structure and cause rotting. It will be a painful affair and will require you to replace the crown as a result.
As these caps can cost a significant amount of money, you might want to extend their wearability by keeping them in top condition. Luckily, you don’t need to take special steps to care for your crowns. What you just need to do is to maintain good oral hygiene and that will already help you keep your dental crowns in good shape.
How to Tell if You have a Cavity Under the Crown
If you want to stay on top of keeping your crown in tip-top shape, you might also want to know how to tell if u have a cavity under your crown. Unfortunately, this isn’t the easiest thing to do. Feeling some pain under the crown might already be a late sign of decay, so you can’t just wait to experience this.
If the decayed area is tiny, there’s a chance that you might not feel any significant crowned tooth pain under the crown yet. So if you wait to feel something before getting it checked out, you might be too late in finding them.
The problem could already be in a serious stage before you can even consider having them checked. This also means it can already be too late for simple measures to effectively solve your dental issue.
The best way to spot rotten tooth under crown would be through regular dental checkups. If you’re going to do a better job at caring for your teeth after having a cap installed, you’ll schedule such appointments anyway. With them, you don’t have to worry much about having to watch out for tooth decay under crown symptoms on your own.
With these checkups, your dentist can take a close look at your teeth, gums, and crowns. They can assess how your dental maintenance is doing and can give you recommendations on how to further improve your dental health.
Sometimes, they can easily spot tooth decay under crown through a black color in between the gums and tooth. Dentists also often use a dental tool to feel under the edges of the cap to look for cavities under a crown. They can then quickly alert you about this concern and suggest expert actions to deal with the situation right away.
During your regular checkup, you can also get a cavity x-ray to check on the condition of the tooth under the crown. Your dentist will be able to identify the cavities right away and relay to you whether your crown needs some attention.
Wondering what does a cavity look like on an x-ray? They can actually be quite easy to see if you know what to look for. Generally, they’re the darkened areas on the x-ray. As cavities are less dense than the other nearby areas, they often appear as dark spots near the outer surface of a tooth.
What to Do with a Crown Cavity?
Of course, it’s not enough to know about the possibility of having a cavity under a dental crown. They can certainly happen, especially if the very reason why you’re wearing one is tooth decay.
It would be most ideal to prevent under crown cavity and avoid crowned tooth pain altogether. As mentioned above, a good oral hygiene routine would certainly help prevent tooth decays. You can opt to take things up a notch by upgrading your dental grooming tools. You can swap out your manual toothbrush with the best Sonicare toothbrush and make the switch to the best Waterpik cordless water flosser from your dental floss threads. They’re said to offer better results so they might just help you take better care of your teeth.
You might also want to pay closer attention to your already damaged tooth. By doing so, you might just be able to successfully prevent plaque buildup and decay from setting in.
If you weren’t able to prevent tooth decay under your dental cap, learning about the most effective cavity under a crown repair methods would also prove to be useful to you. There are a few treatments that your dentist can do for you to deal with the problem.
What are these procedures? Here are a few examples:
If you were able to find the decay early on, a dental filling procedure will already suffice in preventing it from getting worse. Your dentist can fill the cavity at the margin of the crown.
However, the seal of such fillings aren’t very sturdy, so it will require close monitoring. It can leak over time and might need to be refilled at some point. By keeping an eye on the filling, you can see your dentist right away if such time comes and prevent the tooth decay from getting worse.
Root Canal Therapy
Like with regular tooth decay, once the rot reached the nerve center of your tooth, a root canal therapy will already become necessary. It will be the best way to save your tooth but it can also be a very painful process. Since it already involves nerve damage, you should expect to experience a good amount of pain with this procedure.
This treatment involves reshaping gum and bone tissues by exposing more of your teeth. It can be used to improve one’s gummy smile and make it appear even. It’s also often used to repair tooth decay under a crown if it needs more surface area for the proper restoration of your damaged tooth.
In most cases, if you have developed a cavity under your crown, you’ll need to replace the cap altogether. Its removal will allow your dentist the access they need to treat the problem. They can’t always put back the old crown, however, so there’s always a chance that the crown needs to be replaced by a new one. This can be a costly affair but your dentist can offer you other budget-friendlier options if you ask.
Dental crowns will offer a new lease on life to a damaged tooth but it’s not the ultimate solution for your dental problems. You will still need to continue caring for your pearly whites if you want to keep your smile intact and looking good.