Dental crowns aren't just for restorations - they can play a big role in preventative dentistry, too, so it's surprising more US dentists aren't using them.

US Dental Trends Suggest Crowns Aren’t Being Used to Their Full Potential

Dental crowns are an effective treatment to cover and replace damaged, decayed, or missing teeth. However, dental crowns serve other purposes as well, with some treatments considered more preventative than cosmetic.

Recent trends in single dental crown treatments suggest that dentists may not be using dental crowns to their full potential. While a tooth may not be showing any obvious symptoms of decay or damage, there are times when a dental crown could prevent future problems, treatments, and patient discomfort.

A study on the average number of single dental crowns placed by US dentists suggests a decline in the frequency of this treatment. Ruling out an increase in healthy eating and oral hygiene habits amongst Americans, it seems fewer dentists have recommended this dental treatment overall since 2010.

An analysis of the study’s findings concludes that dentists are not recommending this treatment when they could be, especially if the patient isn’t showing any obvious symptoms or need for a dental crown. While no symptoms may seem like reasonable grounds for not having this treatment, a dental crown can do more good for asymptomatic dental problems and prevent future costly treatments.

Symptomatic Dental Issues

Dental crown placements typically restore and improve the appearance of teeth that are symptomatic, showing obvious signs of damage, decay, or deterioration. Dental crowns are most commonly used to repair or restore:

  • Damaged, chipped, or cracked teeth;
  • Part of the tooth is missing;
  • A whole tooth is missing;
  • Severely decayed teeth; and,
  • Discoloured teeth.

 

Asymptomatic Dental Issues

As mentioned before, dentists may not be recommending dental crowns for asymptomatic issues. They might suspect a future problem, and thus hold off on recommending a crown. For example, if there is a high chance for future tooth decay but no current symptoms, a crown could prevent this decay from ever occurring. Dental crown placements strengthen teeth as a durable dental restoration. They prevent future decay, deterioration, and possible discomfort from tooth pain and sensitivity.

Why dentists in the US aren’t recommending dental crowns more often is up for debate. Maybe they’re trying to save their patients money, or maybe they don’t see it as necessary. But as professionals, dentists should recommend the best treatment option. If they can save a patient’s tooth from further problems, pain, and additional costs in the future, then make the recommendation.