A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth to cover it, restore its shape and improve its appearance.
People choose to have dental crowns for a number of reasons:
- To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling or after a root canal treatment
- To make a cosmetic modification
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To cover a misshapen or severely discolored teeth
There are several types of dental crowns. The most popular ones are:
- Metals used in crowns include golf alloy, other alloys (for example, palladium), or a base-metal alloy (for example, chromium). Compared with other crown types, metal crowns rarely chip or break. The metallic color is the main drawback. Metal crowns are a good choice for out-of-sight molars.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be color matched to your adjacent teeth and look like natural teeth. However, porcelain crowns of this type can chip or break.
- All-resin dental crowns are less expensive than other crown types. However, they wear down over time and are more prone to fractures than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
- All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide better natural color match than any other crown type and are suitable for people with metal allergies. However, they are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. All-ceramic crowns are a good choice for front teeth.
Crowns cover and save damaged teeth, while bridges replace lost teeth after extraction or physical trauma. This type of cosmetic restoration can restore you smile, shape of your face, the ability to properly chew and speak.
Bridges are false teeth that are designed to “bridge” the gap created by one or more missing teeth. They are anchored on either side by crowns and are cemented permanently into place.
Dental bridges are made from porcelain and usually have a metal substructure. There are a few different types of bridges:
- Traditional, fixed bridges are the most common type of bridge. When this type of bridge is inserted the two surrounding teeth must be affixed with crowns to hold it in place.
- Cantilever bridges are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. These bridges are often applied to the front teeth.
- Maryland bonded bridges (also called resin-bonded bridge) are made up of plastic teeth supported by a metal framework. Metal wings on each side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth. Bonded bridges can be less expensive than fixed bridges, but they are usually only offered to people whose surrounding teeth are healthy and free of fillings.
It takes several visits to make a bridge. The type of bridge depends on the condition of the teeth and a decision made by the dentist and patient.
The alternative to a bridge is removable dentures or implants.
Call Urgent Dental Care at 314-423-0000 for an appointment.