Dental crowns are more extensive restorations than simple fillings. Unlike a filling, a crown covers an entire tooth above the gums. Tooth-shaped, a crown is basically a cap that is permanently cemented to biological tooth structure. Its purpose is to protect what is left of a natural tooth, prevent further damage, and build up the tooth to its rightful size and shape.
Not only do crowns have restorative applications, they can be used to improve the aesthetics of a smile. For instance, patients with misshapen or badly damaged teeth can receive multiple crowns to create a more visually pleasing smile.
Bridges are made from crowns but they have a different purpose. A bridge is made up of multiple crowns, and instead of being used to cover a tooth, it is used to replace one or more missing teeth. If teeth are missing in a row, a bridge might be used to replace up to three or four teeth. The crowns cemented together in a bridge will be connected to biological teeth on each side. A bridge will fill in the missing gaps of a smile so that a person can eat comfortably and smile confidently.
Why Restorations are Necessary
Dental restorations are necessary for protecting oral health and re-establishing proper oral function. If teeth are affected by a dental injury or tooth decay, they can many times be treated with a restoration to prevent further deterioration of tooth structure. The reason restorations are necessary after a tooth has developed dental caries or been cracked or chipped is because a tooth cannot regenerate tissue to heal itself like other mineralized structures. For instance, a broken bone can heal over time but a tooth cannot.
Once a tooth is damaged and is left unprotected, its condition will only worsen. As more of the tooth deteriorates, its innermost and more sensitive structures will become exposed to oral debris and bacteria. Sensitive tooth structure such as the root can become badly infected when exposed to bacteria. Root canal therapy can become necessary to stop the advancement of the infection and ultimately the development of a painful infection that starts at the root of a tooth (an abscess). If a tooth is beyond repair with restorations or endodontics (root canal treatment), it will need to be extracted. An extraction is a surgical procedure that removes all a tooth’s structure including its roots.
If a damaged or a diseased tooth is treated in time, a dental crown can prevent the development of an infected root canal or an abscess.
Materials Used to Make Restorations
Restorations like bridges and crowns are custom made for each patient. This means that our dentists will take photographs and impressions (molds) of the treatment site to determine the exact specifications required to fabricate a restoration that will fit between existing teeth and inside the mouth. Customization means that bridges and crowns will feel natural and function properly.
In addition to their custom design, patients have options for what materials are used to fabricate their crowns or bridges. Popular materials include metals like silver or gold or porcelain. Metals are ideal for budget-conscious patients or for replacing teeth at the back of the mouth while porcelain is ideal for those who want a very natural looking restoration. Another popular option is for crowns or bridges to be made of a combination of metal and porcelain where porcelain serves as a natural looking complement to one’s smile without sacrificing the durability of metal.
In addition to providing comprehensive general and preventive services, Dental Depot is proud to offer high quality, custom restorations like dental crowns and bridges. Our goal is to help our patients achieve great oral health even after a dental injury or the onset of common disease. Through restorations like crown and bridges, we can help members of our community maintain proper oral function and even restore one’s appearance.
We are accepting new patients! If you are in need of a restoration or a checkup or cleaning, call the Dental Depot location nearest you to reserve an appointment.