Your teeth are covered by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. After a meal or snack, the bacteria turn the sugars in foods and drinks into acid. The acid breaks down the enamel of your tooth. If the decay gets through the enamel, a hole, or a cavity, can form. Once the cavity forms in the enamel, it can continue to spread deeper into the layers of your tooth.
If tooth decay is not treated, you may feel pain, the infection can spread to other parts of your mouth, and you may even lose teeth. People with tooth pain often have trouble eating and sleeping and may miss days of work or school.
A crown is a cover or "cap" your dentist can put over a tooth. The crown restores the tooth to its normal shape, size, and function. A crown can make the tooth stronger or improve the way it looks.
Why do I need a crown?
You may need a crown if you:
• have a cavity that is too large for a filling
• have a tooth that is cracked, worn down, or otherwise weakened
• have had root canal treatment-the crown will protect the restored tooth
• want to cover a discolored or badly shaped tooth and improve your smile