The Trouble with Crowns

The problem with crowns, compared to a dental implant, is that the artificial tooth structure is still dependant upon the integrity of your remaining natural tooth structure. They are therefore less secure than an implant, and may occasionally need maintenance. This might be because your natural tooth structure is experiencing tooth decay, it may be because the crown hasn’t been installed properly, or it may simply be due to simple wear or trauma to the crowned tooth.

If your crowned tooth feels sensitive, this does not necessarily mean that you have a problem. However, be on the lookout for pain when you bite down; this may mean that you need to have your crown re-fitted.

Should your crown come loose or fall out, you will need to have it repaired as quickly as you can manage. The vulnerable inside of your tooth is exposed, which leads quickly to serious decay. Clean both the crown and the tooth, covering the area with temporary tooth cement if your dentist cannot see you right away.

The Future of Test Tube Teeth

Modern dental technology has given patients many options for replacing a missing tooth. Today’s dental implants are strong, reliable, and can generally last you for the rest of your life. However, it is entirely possible that dentists may soon be able to give you an implant that is in every way identical to the one you lost.

The science is still a big immature, but genetic researchers are hard at work on developing an effective process for cloning a fully organic tooth and implanting it into a patient’s mouth. A group in London has already had some success in growing a tooth from stem cells. In the future, a dentist may be able to take a sample of your own cells, grow a new tooth specially designed to fill a gap in your mouth, and implant it. The advantage of such a tooth is that it would be able to take on blood flow, absorbing nutrients and repairing itself exactly like your natural teeth. It will take some time before this process becomes commercially available, but it’s a promising outlook for the future of dental implants.