What could happen if I choose not to have a dental crown?

The consequences of not getting a dental crown depend a lot on why your dentist thinks you need a crown. If you are getting a crown to protect a badly decayed tooth, then not getting a crown will probably lead to more decay, meaning a bigger cavity than you already have. Untreated tooth decay puts you at risk for tooth pain, a cracked tooth, sensitivity of the tooth to hot or cold temperatures, and a serious type of infection called a tooth abscess. Eventually, a decayed tooth will fall out completely or will need to be removed by your dentist.

If you are getting a crown to keep a cracked tooth together, the crack or fracture could become worse if you don't get the crown. Fractures in the teeth can lead to tooth decay or even infection in the innermost part of the tooth, because bacteria can leak into the crack and infect the tooth.

If you are getting a crown for cosmetic reasons (for a stained tooth or badly shaped tooth that makes you feel self-conscious or embarrassed), choosing to not get a crown just means that your tooth will have the same appearance.

If you are nervous about getting a dental crown placed, talk with your dentist. Having a conversation with him or her could go a long way toward making you feel more comfortable with this procedure.
A crown often provides a more secure restoration than a regular filling in that it surrounds tooth to create a "splint" around it. This helps to prevent fracture of the areas of the tooth weakened by decay, extensive fillings or cusp fracture. Also, a crown is often essential to preserve a tooth following root canal treatment. The crown can also prevent a fracture of the tooth which may result in the tooth being non-restorable (not fixable).

There are times if you do not plan to have a crown, then extraction may have to be considered. This is because the tooth will not be able to be properly restored, an extensive filling will fail, root canal treatment (if done) will fail and ultimately the tooth will be lost.

If your dentist recommends a dental crown, it is either to strengthen your teeth or enhance their appearance. The result of not doing so depends largely upon your individual condition. This could include:

  • weakened teeth
  • cracked or broken teeth
  • detached filling
  • loose bridge

Consult your dentist for the reasons you may need a crown.

Continue Learning about Dental Crown

What needs to be done before a permanent crown is placed?
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What does the crown lengthening procedure consist of?
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Crown lengthening is a procedure used to help a crown (also cap) fit better. If a tooth is tooth sh...
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How much does a dental crown cost?
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The cost of a crown will vary from dentist to dentist, but most dentists will charge from $900-$1300...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.