A crown is a “cap” used to cover the visible portion of a tooth. The crown restores the tooth to its normal shape, size and function. The purpose of a crown is to make the tooth stronger or improve the way it looks.
A crown may be recommended if you have:
- A cavity that is too large for a filling
- A root canal treated tooth
- A tooth that is cracked, weakened or worn
- A tooth that is discolored or badly shaped and requires covering
Crowns are necessary for the support of a tooth and are often made of materials like porcelain and zirconia, depending on the reason for the crown.
A dental bridge is similar to a crown but comes as a unit of at least two or three. It is a dental restoration that fills the space where one or more teeth are missing and is cemented to the two adjacent teeth. A dental bridge can:
- Restore an uneven or painful bite
- Prevent tipping of adjacent teeth
- Allow for more comfortable chewing
- Help keep the natural shape of your face
A bridge is comfortably and permanently cemented in place.
With both crowns and bridges, the dentist needs to shape the teeth to provide a precise fit. Typically, about 1.5mm to 2mm of tooth structure is removed all around the tooth to provide enough thickness for the new crown. Following tooth preparation, impressions are taken of the teeth, and a replica of your mouth is created for the dental laboratory to make the crown or bridge. A temporary crown is placed to protect the tooth and maintain the precise space left by the tooth until the new crown is made. Once crowns and bridges are placed, they are kept clean by brushing and flossing just like natural teeth!