This is a follow-on to my previous post, Easy Rests The Crown.
Many times a tooth fractures off a piece and the old filling is still in place in the center. Even with a clear digital image to look at, patients have a hard time understanding why such a tooth is in need of a crown. Yet if we remove all old fillings and all decay, we see how thin and weak the remaining walls are- and we often see vertical fractures, the one thing that we cannot repair on a tooth if it goes down too far. See the dark fracture line towards the left side of the photo?
Happily this tooth could be saved with an adhesive, bonded building up process in its core and then a crown which contains the fracture, stopping it from spreading. That wink of the eye there from The Smiling Monkey tells us that root canal treatment has already been completed.
Recently I attended a lecture by Dr. Jan Lindhe, my former Dean at Penn and one of the world's most accomplished dental researchers. He was speaking of his field of periodontics, but the sentiment he expressed holds for all of us. Referring to the modern trend of aggressively extracting teeth that are even slightly questionable and replacing them with dental implants, he said, "We have to ask ourselves- do we believe in teeth?"
I do, I'm sure that you do, and while implants are a superb option for tooth replacement when a tooth is truly unrestorable, we should save teeth whenever we can. Crowns are an important one of the ways in which we are able to do that.