Crowns may be recommended when a tooth has become fractured, when there is an old filling of significant size or a tooth has been damaged by decay. The crown, commonly referred to as a cap, will strengthen and protect the tooth structure – or what remains of it. It can provide a better appearance for the smile as well.

There are three types of crowns. A full porcelain crown, a crown with porcelain fused to metal as well as an all-metal crown can be chosen from. A patient may have a choice or may be limited by what the dentist offers. There are at least two visits required to handle the fitting of a crown. The first visit involves all decay being removed and the tooth being reshaped. An impression will then be made and a temporary crown will be fitted and made from either metal or plastic. In the second visit, the dentist will remove the temporary piece, followed by fitting and readjusting as necessary. The crown will then be put into place with cement.

Bridges may be recommended after suffering a tooth loss. When there is a loss of one or more teeth, it can cause the teeth to drift out of their natural position. This may affect the bite, gum disease, decay and even the loss of additional teeth. A bridge consists of one or more false teeth that will be anchored by one or multiple crowns on either side. This will be at least a two part process, similar to that of placing a crown. The dentist will prepare the teeth on each side of the area that needs to receive the crown or crowns. An impression will then be made of the entire space. A temporary or transitional bridge will be fitted inside the mouth after this. In a following visit, the dentist is going to place, adjust and then cement the fixed bridge in place. This will prevent shifts from occurring.

With crowns and bridges, keeping good oral hygiene is especially important.