Crowns(also called caps) are a restoration that covers and restores teeth that have either cracked, worn down, or have a cavity or failing old filling that is too big to safely replace with a new filling. Teeth such as these are can be difficult of impossible to fill, and can be highly prone to breaking once a new filling is placed. Teeth that need crowns are specially prepared to receive them. The crown is custom made in our dental lab to match your teeth. Once the crown is made, it is permantly bonded to the tooth it will restore. Today, most crowns are made entirely of highly specialized porcelains. Some crowns are still made with a metal understructure which is then covered with porcelain. The porcelain effectively replaces the tooth’s original enamel outer shell and holds the tooth together. Crowns are very strong and long lasting.
When a tooth is lost, most often there is a desire, for a number of reasons, to replace the missing tooth. Very often it’s to improve chewing function in an area where a tooth was lost long ago, or to quickly restore function in an area where a tooth was recently lost. Additionally, there can be concerns about one’s appearance who is visibly missing a tooth including front teeth. Bridges effectively address these situations.
Bridges are used to replace missing teeth. A very typical bridge consists of three crowns joined together in a line. The two outer crowns are permanently attached to the teeth directly adjacent to the space left by the missing tooth. The third crown, which is attached in between the two others sits above the gum, bridges the gap left by the missing tooth; hence the name “bridge”. Bridges are relatively quick to do, are permanently fixed in place, and are very long-lasting.