Dental Crowns and Bridges
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth – covering the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or to improve its appearance. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
- To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth.
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down.
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left.
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To cover misshaped or severely discoloured teeth
- To cover a dental implant
The Types of Crown Materials
All Porcelain Crowns:
This type of crown holds the advantage of natural aesthetics. As it is metal free, there are no unsightly metal margins around the crowns, and the crowns do not appear grey. This makes it very difficult to identify it from your natural teeth. The crown is bonded into place so it acts like a one-piece structure and can be described as enamel replacement. These types of crowns are suited for patients with metal allergies.
Where appearance is not a concern to you, gold could be the best choice. Since the gold metal is very workable, gold crowns are able to have a more precise fit than any other type. Gold also eliminates the slight possibility of chipping, which exists with anything that contains porcelain. For simple longevity, nothing beats gold.
Bonded to metal these crowns have a metal substructure which gives it strength and it is covered by porcelain. The porcelain gives the tooth a natural appearance but this is limited by the underlying metal, giving it a grey appearance and metal may become visible at the gum margin.
A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth. It looks great and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth have been. The restoration is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support. These teeth have been prepared in a similar fashion as crowned teeth.