A dental crown, sometimes called a “cap”, is a restoration that covers the entire tooth above the gum line. While a filling can be used to replace or patch part of a decayed tooth, a crown is used to strengthen a damaged tooth while improving its appearance. Crowns are great options when there is not enough healthy tooth left for a filling, to attach a bridge, restore a broken tooth or to protect a weak tooth from breaking. Crowns are also used to cover teeth previously treated by root canals.
Crowns can be made from porcelain, metal, or a combination of both. Because metal crowns will have a visible dark lining at the gum line, most patients prefer porcelain crowns for a more natural-looking smile.
Bridges are fabricated teeth that are used to “bridge” a gap where your natural teeth are missing. A bridge is created by placing crowns on the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth and connecting the false tooth in between them. Bridges have several benefits:
- Restore your ability to properly chew and speak
- Distribute the forces in your bite evenly by replacing the missing teeth
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
- Restore your smile
- Maintain the shape of your face