A reader recently asked me if it was possible to get a cavity on a tooth once it has been crowned. Although it seems logical that a crown covering the tooth would prevent this, that is not the case. A tooth with a crown can get a cavity!
Can You Get a Cavity on a Tooth With a Crown?
When a dentist makes a crown for you, he or she will remove all of the tooth decay or cavity that was present. The dentist then cuts around the whole tooth so that a crown can fit over the remaining tooth structure and still appear to be a normal-sized tooth. The crown/tooth interface is usually right around the gum-line.
That means that you still have tooth structure in your mouth that is below the crown. If you aren’t brushing and flossing to remove the plaque that lives under the gum-line, you can get another cavity on the same tooth.
What Happens When You Get a Cavity on a Tooth With a Crown?
When you get a cavity on a tooth with a crown, there are a few things that can happen:
1 – If the cavity goes too close to the pulp, you may have to have a root canal done if you haven’t had one yet.
2 – You may need a procedure done known as crown lengthening. Crown lengthening means taking away some of the bone that supports your tooth so that there is room for the dentist to remove all of the cavity and still prepare the tooth for a crown.
3 – You may have to have the tooth pulled if the decay has spread too far into the tooth.
4 – If you keep the tooth, you will most likely need a new crown made.
The procedures listed abovet are all quite costly (aside from pulling the tooth.) Hopefully that will motivate you to keep your crowned teeth clean and in pristine condition!
Do you have any questions, comments, or experiences to share about crowned teeth and tooth decay? Leave them in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!