Crowns are a type of dental restoration which, when cemented into place, fully covers the area of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. In comparison, fillings are dental restorations that fill in or cover over just a portion of a tooth. Since dental crowns encase the entire visible aspect of a tooth, a dental crown, in effect, becomes the tooth’s new outer surface.
A crown may be suggested for a variety of reasons but, in general, most of these reasons will usually fall within one of the following basic categories:
- Restore a tooth to its original shape and function.
- To strengthen a tooth that may have a fracture or multiple fillings.
- To improve a patient’s cosmetic appearance.
- To protect a treated tooth from further damage.
- To attach a bridge.
A bridge, on the other hand, includes several prosthetic teeth in a row that are attached to natural teeth or implants on either side. They are necessary in spaces were several teeth are missing.
Crowns and bridges are prosthetics and are not removable like dentures. Both are cemented onto remaining teeth and are created in dental labs using impressions of your mouth taken in the dentist’s office. These devices can last an entire lifetime but do require periodic check ups from your oral health provider and good oral hygiene at home.