A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and 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.
Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?
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 alreadybroken 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 adental bridge in place
- To cover misshapened or severely discolored teeth
- To cover adental implant
- To make a cosmetic modification
For children, a crown may be used on primary (baby) teeth in order to:
- Save a tooth that has been so damaged by decay that it can’t support a filling.
- Protect the teeth of a child at high risk for tooth decay, especially when a child has difficulty keeping up with daily oral hygiene.
- Decrease the frequency of general anesthesia for children unable because of age, behavior, or medical history to fully cooperate with the requirements of proper dental care.
In such cases, a pediatric dentist is likely to recommend a stainless
What Types of Crowns Are Available?
Permanent crowns can be made from stainless steel, all metal (such as gold or another alloy), porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic.
- Stainless steel crowns are prefabricated crowns that are used on permanent teeth primarily as a temporary measure. The crown protects the tooth or filling while a permanent crown is made from another material. For children, a stainless steel crown is commonly used to fit over a primary tooth that’s been prepared to fit it. The crown covers the entire tooth and protects it from further decay. When the primary tooth comes
out to make room for the permanent tooth, the crown comes out naturally with it. In general, stainless steel crowns are used for children’s teeth because they don’t require multiple dental visits to put in place and so are more cost-effective than custom-made crowns and prophylactic dental care needed to protect a tooth without a crown.
- Metals used in crowns include alloys that have a high content of base-metal alloys (for example, cobalt-chromium and nickel-chromium alloys).
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be color matched to your adjacent teeth (unlike the metallic crowns). These crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth as well as long bridges where the metal is needed for strength.
- All-ceramic or all-porcelain(ZIRCONEA) dental crowns provide better natural color match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metalallergies. All-ceramic crowns can be used for front and back teeth. They are the most esthetic crowns available.
Does a Crowned Tooth Require Special Care?
While a crowned tooth does not require any special care, remember that simply because a tooth is crowned does not mean the tooth is protected from decay or gum disease. Therefore, continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily — especially around the crown area where the gum meets the tooth — and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash at least once a day.
Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap — these two or more anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth — and a false tooth/teeth in between. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Bridges?
- Restore your smile
- Restore the ability to properly chew and speak
- Maintain the shape of your face
- Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
- Prevent remaining teeth
What Types of Dental Bridges Are Available?
There are three main types of dental bridges:
- Traditional bridges involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic in between. Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge and are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
- Cantilever bridges are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. This is not very common anymore and is not recommended in the back of the mouth where it can put too much force on other teeth and damage them.