A crown is used to entirely cover or “cap” a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. A crown can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function. Porcelain crowns can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.
Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They span the space where the teeth are missing. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth is attached to the crowns that cover the teeth.
When there is not enough tooth structure left for veneers or inlays or onlays, or the chewing demands in the mouth are too great for veneers, a stronger, more extensive restoration is needed. Typically the best alternative is porcelain crowns. Porcelain crowns are placed on a fully prepared tooth. They are the most life-like of full crown type restorations. The technique initially consists of preparing the teeth. Next, an impression is taken and then sent to the dental lab where the porcelain crown is fabricated. Finally, they are placed in the patient’s mouth and permanently cemented onto the teeth.
Currently we use zirconia and lithium disilicate for our porcelain crowns and bridges…no more metal.
Be careful when biting hard foods or ice to avoid fracturing the crowns. Fluoride treatments should be once yearly along with the use of fluoride toothpaste and flossing every day.