Sometimes, a tooth cannot be adequately repaired with a usual tooth-coloured filling. This is usually the case when a tooth has lost significant natural tooth structure due to decay or fracture. At this time, a crown would be recommended. A crown is a resilient full coverage restoration for your tooth to prolong its life, and prevent it from future breakage. The crown fits over the tooth like a “cap”, and are usually made from ceramic, porcelain or gold/metal. Crowns are also placed after completing root canal treatment to protect the tooth (see root canal treatment).
A crown is placed over 2 appointments – during the first appointment the dentist will prepare the tooth and take impressions, send them to a dental laboratory. When they return, the dentist will place them permanently in the mouth (at the second appointment 2-3 weeks later).
A bridge is used to replace a missing tooth, and involves preparing the teeth on either side of the gap. It follows the same process of a crown, and takes the same amount of time (2-3 weeks) before being returned by the dental laboratory and permanently cemented in the mouth. Bridges usually require a special floss for cleaning, which your dentist can instruct you at the time of insertion.
Bridges are sometimes a more cost-effective option for tooth replacement instead of a denture or implant. If you feel you require a bridge, please contact our office to arrange an assessment appointment.