What is a crown?
Dental crowns, commonly referred to as caps, are an excellent way to restore badly decayed, root canal treated, or deeply stained teeth. Crown can be made of many materials including, all-porcelain, all gold, all metal, zirconium, or various mixtures of those. The dental crown’s biggest advantage over fillings, which also replace missing tooth structure, is that crowns wrap around and cover the tooth. Because the tooth is completely covered by the crown, the tooth can actually be stronger than your original tooth! They conveniently come in very beautiful shapes and sizes.
What is a bridge?
Bridges are the same as crowns except they’re connected together to fill the gap between two or more teeth, making a ‘bridge’. Bridges are made of the same materials as crowns, but only the stronger materials can be used because of the extra force being applied on them. A bridge is a great way to replace missing teeth, however, keep in mind there are other options such as dental implants and dentures/partial dentures.
When does your tooth need a crown or bridge?
The only person who can tell you whether you need a crown is a dentist or a specialist. But here are a few tale-tell signs:
- Your teeth are showing signs of excessive decay. Take note that the operative term is “showing.” It means the tooth is still in the process of being deteriorated; it’s not completely damaged yet. Otherwise, the tooth may have to be removed.
- There’s not enough tooth remaining. Have you ever bitten something hard and chipped or fractured your tooth? Depending on the severity of the damage and how much tooth is left, we can either fill it with composite, place a crown on it, or have to extract it. Having an experienced dentist is an important part of making the right choices.
- You’re missing a tooth. Missing teeth can be replaced with a bridge when teeth are present in front and behind the missing teeth. This doesn’t, however, mean it’s the best choice. If the teeth in front and behind are healthy, cutting into them to replace a missing tooth would do more harm then good! Thankfully, dental implants are a great alternative. If the teeth in front and behind are damaged or have large existing restorations, a dental bridge is an affordable way to achieve beautiful, natural results while restoring your function.
- Your teeth need a makeover. Perhaps you have healthy teeth, but you want want to change the color, size and position of your teeth quickly. Dental crowns are capable of doing that and more.
Dental crowns and bridges can:
- improve your bite
- enhance your smile
- close gaps (alternative to Invisalign)
- strengthen weakened teeth
- restore function permanently