A dental crown is also called a tooth cap. This type of restoration either covers a natural tooth or is attached to an implant abutment. Crowns effectively restore the function and appearance of cracked, broken or decayed teeth. They are also placed on teeth weakened by root canal therapy. Bridgework is used to replace one or more missing teeth and consists of two dental crowns attached to a prosthetic tooth.
A dental bridge is a good solution for patients who do not qualify for implant surgery.
Some of the tooth structure must be removed to allow space for the crown. Then, an impression is taken of the prepared tooth. This is sent to a dental lab where your custom crown will be created. In the meantime, a temporary crown will be placed to protect the exposed tooth. Dental crowns are crafted to look and feel like natural teeth. When your permanent crown is completed, it will be cemented in place to restore your healthy smile.
Ideal candidates for dental crowns or bridges have badly damaged teeth that require changes in shape, size or alignment. Patients must be committed to practicing good dental care habits, by brushing twice daily, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly.
You will maintain your crowns the same way you care for your natural teeth. It is still possible to develop cavities beneath the restoration, so extra diligent care is essential. Since crowns are frequently made of ceramic, they can chip or fracture. Avoid biting or chewing on hard objects like ice, pencils or fingernails. If you clench or grind your teeth overnight, you might be prescribed a mouth guard.