Crowns & Bridges

When a tooth has decay that is removed and replaced by a filling, the structural integrity of the tooth is compromised. No matter how well the filling is placed, the tooth will never be as strong as it once was. The larger the filling, the greater the chance of a piece breaking off. Because of this, all teeth with large fillings should eventually be crowned. If a piece were to break off, the tooth can sometimes be built back up, then crowned. Teeth that have been treated with a root canal should be crowned as well, since they no longer have nutrients and are more brittle.

A crown, sometimes referred to as a cap, is essentially a tooth colored and tooth shaped form that covers the part of the tooth that is visible (called the crown of the tooth). In order to cover the tooth with a crown, the tooth must be reduced slightly, and a temporary crown is worn for 2 weeks as a placeholder while the permanent crown is custom fabricated. Crowns are also often used to repair cosmetic (link to Cosmetic Dentistry) defects such as misshapen teeth or discolored teeth.

If a tooth is missing, adjacent teeth can be prepared for a crown, and a false tooth (called a pontic) can be attached to the crowned teeth. This is called a bridge, and come in many different styles to fit individual needs. Crowns are also placed on implants to replace missing teeth. Call us today to see how a crown or bridge can be used to improve your smile.