Crown (often referred to as CAP) is an artificial cover that is placed on individual tooth to restore its normal shape and size for proper function. This procedure is necessary when there is not sufficient tooth structure remaining to restore the tooth with a filling. It is also used to protect cracked or broken teeth. A crown may also be considered when trying to change the shape, size or position of a tooth, thus correcting the bite or its appearance. Materials used in the fabrication of crown include gold, other precious metals or porcelain. The selection will be made based on the location and functioning of the tooth as well as aesthetics.
Bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth thus restoring chewing function, improving aesthetics and maintaining healthy teeth, gums and jaws. Bridges are made up of the replacement teeth attached to the adjacent natural teeth. Materials used will be identical to those mentioned for crowns and the choice of material will follow the same selection criteria as in crowns.
There are TWO main types of bridges:
- Conventional bridge: the replacement teeth are attached to crowns that fit over the natural teeth on either side of the space to be filled. Altogether, this forms a solid unit which is cemented in place.
- Maryland bridge: the replacement teeth are attached to adjacent teeth using small metal “wings” which are then bonded to the backside of adjacent natural teeth. This option is considered when adjacent teeth are in excellent to perfect condition.