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A crown is a restoration that covers, or “caps,” a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and a filling won’t solve the problem. If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to seal the cracks so the damage doesn’t get worse. A crown is also used to restore a tooth when there isn’t enough of the tooth remaining to provide support for a large filling, or to attach a bridge, protect a weak tooth from fracturing, restore a fractured tooth or to cover badly shaped or discolored teeth.
To prepare the tooth for a crown, it is reduced so the crown can fit over it. An impression of the teeth and gums is made and sent to the lab for the crown fabrication. A temporary crown is fitted over the tooth until the permanent crown is made. On the next visit, the dentist removes the temporary crown and cements the permanent crown onto the tooth.
The purpose of a bridge is to replace one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made to look and function like natural teeth. It is permanently anchored to the teeth on either side of the space created by the missing tooth or teeth. When a lost tooth is replaced with bridgework, the teeth on either side are prepared as crowns to serve as anchors or “abutments” for the bridge. Bridge the gap.