A crown, sometimes known as a cap, is an artificial restoration that fits over the remaining part of a prepared tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape of a natural tooth. Crowns are an ideal restoration for teeth that have been broken or have been weakened by decay or a large filling.
A crown can also be used for covering a discoloured filling to improve the appearance of the tooth, restoration a tooth after a root canal filling which may need a crown to protect what is left of the tooth, or holding a bridge or denture firmly in place.
A dental bridge is used where there are just a few teeth to replace, or when the missing teeth are only on one side of the mouth. Bridges are usually made of porcelain bonded to the precious metal.
Missing teeth can be replaced for several reasons. Appearance is one. Another is that the gap left by a missing tooth can mean greater strain is put on the teeth at either side.
A gap can also affect your ‘bite’, because the teeth next to the space can lean into the gap and alter the way the upper and lower teeth bite together. This can then lead to food getting trapped the gap, causing both decay and gum disease.