Crowns (caps) look and function just like natural teeth. A crown may be recommended if your tooth has enough decay that it cannot hold a filling, or if your tooth is cracked or broken and in danger of fracturing into the root if left unattended. Placing a crown on a compromised tooth will restore its strength, and prevent unnecessary tooth loss and/or expense. A crown covers your tooth completely. It fits snugly at the gum and protects what remains of the natural tooth.
Why Have Crowns?
The crown serves two important functions. First, it restores the appearance of your teeth and your face. If your tooth is severely decayed or cracked, Dr. Rindfleish will need to restore it prior to preparing a cap. Teeth also support the muscles in our faces, so anything less than a full tooth may affect the way you look. Second, a crown will be the same size and shape as the natural tooth. As a result, it will keep your jaw and bite aligned; it will also make sure that other teeth don’t shift locations or take on a greater share of the work of biting and chewing.
What Are Crowns Made of?
Crowns are most often made of gold, porcelain or a combination of the two. Porcelain crowns typically are built on a metal base, which fits snugly over the natural tooth. Your dentist will choose a porcelain that matches the color of your natural teeth. Porcelain crowns usually are so carefully matched in color, they cannot be distinguished from your natural teeth. Many people choose porcelain crowns for the cosmetic appearance and the confidence it gives them. New materials are now available that allow the use of “all-ceramic” crowns in some cases. They have a beautiful life-like appearance and short-term studies support their success, with long-term trials ongoing.
Patients may feel self-conscious over the loss of one or more teeth, but missing teeth can also cause other problems. Misaligned teeth, bite problems and periodontal disease may result as well. Chewing can also become compromised, causing food digestion problems.
One option for the replacement of missing teeth is a dental bridge. The bridge does just what its name implies: it bridges the gap between one or more missing teeth. Dental bridges are supported by neighboring natural teeth or implants. A bridge is made up of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap, and one or more false teeth in between. The outer, anchoring teeth are called “abutments” while the false teeth are called “pontics.” Pontics are made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials.
- Restore your smile
- Restore chewing and speaking function
- Maintain the shape of your face
- Maintain the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
- Prevent remaining teeth from shifting out of position