A crown is a very strong and very attractive way to protect a tooth from breaking. Crowns are often recommended to be placed on teeth for the following reasons:
A crown, also known as a cap, covers up a tooth completely so that the tooth underneath is protected from further damage. Crowns can be made out of a number of different materials including all gold, all porcelain, all zirconium or a combination of porcelain fused onto metal, depending on the specific needs and desires of the patient.
To place a crown on a tooth, 2 appointments are needed, usually about 1 week apart from each other. At the first appointment, the tooth in question is shaped by the dentist to make room for the crown to fit down on top of the tooth. A very detailed impression of the tooth is taken and, finally, a temporary crown is cemented onto the tooth. At the second appointment, the temporary crown is removed and the newly fabricated permanent crown is cemented onto the tooth with a very strong, permanent cement.
A bridge is in many ways similar to a crown but, is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Bridges are a very durable, very attractive way to replace a tooth or teeth that have been extracted.
The tooth on either side of a missing tooth is prepared by the dentist in the same way that it would be prepared to receive a crown. Once again, an impression of the teeth is taken and temporary crowns are placed on the prepared teeth (known as abutment teeth). About 2 weeks later, the patient returns and the permanent bridge is cemented onto the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. The bridge consists of a crown covering each of the abutment teeth and a fake tooth that is joined to each of the crowns. Once cemented, the bridge is never removed again and serves as a permanent way to replace the missing tooth/teeth.