How To Tell If Your Tooth Is “Structurally Compromised”

If you go to any dental website and check out the crowns section, you may find that there will be a description of how crowns are only used once a tooth has become “structurally compromised” and can “no longer fulfill its function”. But what do those words mean? How far gone is too far gone, and from what point on do you NEED a crown? What are the consequences of not getting one when it is needed? Read on to find out!

Defining “structurally compromised”

If the tooth is no longer visible above the gumline,. or is only visible as a few tiny stbs or perhaps a chunk of tooth poking through the gum, your tooth is no longer fulfilling its function. What is the function of a tooth? To bite, chew and tear, and also to aid in speech. When these functions are not done by the tooth because it is too small, too flat, too thin or too oddly shaped, the tooth can be said to be structurally compromised. If there is enough of the tooth missing, the internal structures will be exposed, causing the tooth to die. Even if the tooth is still sort of fulfilling its function, having dead teeth in your mouth is not a good idea, and an extraction will become necessary, and this too, is a structural compromise. 

If the cusps are no longer visible, you need a crown. Sometimes teeth that are otherwise perfectly healthy and intact need a crown because they just cannot exert the effort they once did, due to wear and tear. The cusps help us to sink our teeth into food, once they are gone, the biting functions are more difficult and require more effort from other parts of the jaw, parts that were not meant to exert such effort.   

Why a crown is needed

When you cannot bite properly, your jaw will suffer. Because the pressure is now not evenly distributed to the entire jaw because some of the teeth cannot do what they are meant to, there is under pressure on other parts of the jaw, causing increased wear on the teeth that are still healthy, which leads to their premature demise. Aside form this, your jaw will only be taxed on one side, leading to temporomandibular joint disorder, which causes intense jaw pain, neck and head pains, and can seriously damage your jaw. A crown can prevent all of this from happening.