A crown is a tooth-shaped cover placed over a tooth that is badly damaged. Many people also call it a cap.
We use crowns when a tooth has been broken or severely damaged by decay or trauma and it requires a stronger more durable restoration. Crowns can be used to improve appearance.
Crowns can be made of:
- Porcelain fused to metal (PFM)
- All ceramic
Metals include gold alloy, other alloys (palladium) or a base-metal alloy (nickel or chromium). The all-metal or PFM crowns are stronger and are better choices for back teeth than ceramic crowns. PFM and all-ceramic crowns are the same colour as your natural teeth. They look just like normal teeth.
Veneers may be made of porcelain or white filling material. They may be placed to cover misshapen, cracked or badly coloured teeth.
A bridge is made to replace one or more missing teeth. The replacement tooth (or teeth) is supported by the adjacent natural teeth or implants. Natural teeth are prepared in the same way as for a crown on a single tooth.
A missing tooth can sometimes be replaced with an adhesive bridge on which the replacement tooth is bonded to the adjacent, supporting tooth with a metal ‘wing’.