A dental crown (sometimes called a cap) is a permanent restoration that covers the natural tooth and mimics its natural color, size and shape. Your dentist may recommend a crown for many reasons, such as: a very large cavity, a large filling that has broken, a large filling that has a cavity under it, a cracked tooth or a tooth that has had a root canal. The tooth will be prepared and shaped to be fitted for the crown, and the dentist will also remove any old filling material or any decay that might be present. An impression of the prepared tooth is taken and sent to the dental lab, where the crown is fabricated. During this time, the patient will be fitted with a temporary crown. Once the final restoration is ready, the patient will return, and the crown will be cemented in permanently.
A dental bridge is also a permanent restoration, and it is used to quite literally "bridge" the gap or space left by one or two missing teeth. The two natural teeth adjacent to the space are the anchors for the bridge, called abutments. The teeth are prepared for crowns. The dentist takes an impression, and the patient is fitted with a temporary. The dental lab fabricates the bridge which consists of two crowns joined together by a false tooth (called a pontic) in the middle. When the permanent bridge is ready, the patient will return for it to be cemented.
Today, most crowns and bridges are made of porcelain, so they are very strong and very beautiful, matching the color of your natural teeth. If you think you might need a crown or bridge, call our office today to make an appointment!