Dental Crowns (also commonly referred to as a “cap”) are placed on a tooth that cannot be restored by a filling due to a fracture of a tooth or existing filling, or due to extensive decay. A crown covers the whole tooth above the gum and provides strength and stability for that tooth. Crowns can also be used to treat occlusal disease or for esthetic purposes. The crown procedure involves two appointments. The first appointment lasts approximately and hour and a half. This appointment consists of the dentist removing decay and/or the existing filling, building up the tooth (if necessary), taking an impression to send to the dental laboratory, as well as making and cementing a temporary crown. The patient then wears the temporary crown for 2-3 weeks while the laboratory fabricates the crown. During the second appointment the dentist will remove the temporary crown and cement the permanent crown.
Crown materials can be all porcelain, porcelain with a metal base, or a full gold crown. The dentist will discuss with the patient which type of crown is most suitable.
Bridges are used to replace a missing tooth or several teeth. The procedure is similar to a crown, except it involves shaping the existing teeth surrounding the missing tooth and placing crowns that are connected. This procedure could take 2 to 3 appointments separated by two weeks to allow time for the bridge to be made by a dental laboratory.
The anchoring teeth are called abutments. The missing tooth, or teeth, is referred to as a pontic. The pontic is anchored to the abutment crowns.