Dental Crowns and Bridges

What is a Crown?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that isplaced over a tooth – covering the tooth to restoreits shape and size, strength, and/or to improve itsappearance. The crowns, when cemented intoplace, fully encase the entire visible portion of atooth that lies at and above the gum line.

Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?

  1. To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth.
  2. To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down.
  3. To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't a lot of tooth left
  4. To hold a dental bridge in place.
  5. To cover misshaped or severely discolored teeth 
  6. To cover a dental implant. 

What Are the Benefits of Dental Bridges?

Bridges restore your smile, restore your ability to properly chew, and maintain the shape of your face. Dental bridges also distributes the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth,which prevents remaining teeth from drifting out of position.

Does a Crowned Tooth Require any Special Care?

While a crowned tooth does not require any special care, remember that simply because a tooth is crowned does not mean the underlying 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 and flossing once a day-especially around the crown area where the gum meets the tooth. Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

A bridge is made up of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap – these two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth – and a false tooth/teeth in between. These false teeth are called pontics and can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

On average, dental crowns last between 5 and 15 years. The life span of a crown depends on the amount of "wear and tear" the crown is exposed to, how well you follow good oral hygiene practices, and your personal mouth-related habits (you should avoid such habits as grinding or clenching your teeth, chewing ice, biting your fingernails and using your teeth to open packaging)