A dental crown is a dental prosthetic that completely encapsulates a natural tooth or dental implant. Crowns are commonly used in tandem with dental implant treatments to provide patients an attractive and consistent look. There are a variety of other instances in which dental crowns may be used:
- Protect a weak tooth from further damage
- Restore a cracked or broken tooth
- Cover a tooth which has a large cavity or filling
- Hold a dental bridge in place
- Replace a missing tooth with a dental implant
A good dental crown will match the look of your natural teeth while providing full functionality. If a crown can be easily noticed amongst natural teeth, it is not a good crown! Prosthodontists have undertaken years of additional training to provide their patients the best possible crown, often laboring for hours on a single tooth until perfection is achieved.
Fixed Bridges (Non-Removable)
Fixed bridges can be used to replace missing teeth when other natural teeth are adjacent to those missing. This treatment has become antiquated since the invention of dental implants. Only when bone loss requires a bone graft for a dental implant should this option be discussed. In most cases the bone graft and the implant are still a better option. The average life span of a bridge is approximately nine years. Nine years is not enough time to justify the time and money involved in getting a fixed bridge on teeth. Also, the adjacent teeth need to be ground down to accommodate a fixed bridge abutment crown that secures the prosthesis. There are few arguments for getting a fixed bridge after 2000 A.D.
When several teeth in a row are missing, they can be replaced by a bridge anchored to implants. In this case, an implant is not needed for each tooth being replaced. This is less expensive than placing an individual implant for each tooth being replaced. Dental implants are strong and can support the biting forces of several teeth when they are anchored together.