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When a tooth is cracked, decayed, or damaged, a crown may need to be fitted onto the tooth. A crown is a permanent covering that fits over the original tooth. Crowns can be made of porcelain, gold and other metals. Porcelain crowns typically have the most realistic appearance. Crowns can whiten, reshape, and realign existing teeth, adding to a healthy and vibrant smile.

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth -- to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

Dental bridges and crowns are fixed prosthetics that are cemented onto your existing teeth, or even implants. Crowns are most commonly used to entirely cover or "cap" a damaged tooth or cover an implant. Bridges are commonly used to cover a space if you're missing one or more teeth. They are cemented to natural teeth or implants surrounding the space where the tooth once stood.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a ceramic or composite material shaped like a natural tooth, which fits onto the existing tooth after some tooth material has been removed to allow space for the crown. Crowns may be thought of as similar to dentures that cannot be removed. They cannot be removed without a dental professional. There are certain criteria for choosing to use dental crowns.

Why Choose Dental Crowns?

  • When a large filling is removed and there is insufficient natural tooth remaining.
  • As protection for a weak tooth at risk of fracturing.
  • Cover dental implants.
  • Cover mis-shapen, or deformed teeth.
  • Restoration of fractured teeth.
  • To reface a badly discolored tooth.
  • Sometimes crowns over teeth after root canals.

Natural Tooth Material Removal

To make room for a crown, a substantial amount of natural tooth material may have to be removed. What remains is a peg-like tooth formation, onto which the crown is bonded. The remaining natural tooth material is therefore completely covered by the new crown. After removing tooth material, an impression is made of the tooth structures to create the crown, so they fit perfectly.

Crowns may be created from composite resins or ceramic. Composite crowns may be created in the office and often require fewer office visits. Ceramic crowns may take longer to create and may require more office visits. Whichever material is used, the dental crowns will be custom-fit to your teeth and shaped, textured, and polished to make for a natural looking, improved smile.

Dental Bridges

Bridges are similar to crowns, in that they fully cover the teeth. However, they span one of more teeth by bonding to the adjacent teeth on either side.

Dental Crown Maintenance

Crowns may be damaged by the same habits that damage natural teeth. It is possible for crowns to detach, crack, chip and discolor. It isimportant to fillow a healthy dental hygiene routine and avoid hard foods, and foods that discolor teeth. Bridges can suffer similar damage, and maybecome detached or loose if the adjacent teeth are damaged or suffer dental deterioration.

Gum and bone disease is an ongoing health consideration, and may lead to problems with your dental crown or bridge. It is important that you continue regular dental examinations and cleanings.

Crowns additionally can be used to improve a tooth's appearance, shape, alignment and dental occlusion (bite). Gaps left by missing teeth can cause the remaining teeth to shift, which can result in a bad bite. Bridges and crowns help prevent this from happening.

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