What is a Crown?
A crown - sometimes called a "cap" - is a tooth-like covering placed over a carefully prepared existing tooth. Used to strengthen, restore or improve the appearance of your natural tooth, a crown is placed on an individual tooth much like a thimble over your finger. In addition to being used to strengthen a tooth to accommodate the attachment of a fixed bridge, crowns serve many functions. One of the most common is to support the tooth when there is no longer sufficient tooth structure left to place a filling. Crowns may also be used to protect the structure of a tooth that is fractured or broken.
What is a Bridge and Why Are Crowns Involved?
A bridge is a custom device anchored to neighboring teeth that replaces one or more missing teeth. When a lost tooth is replaced with bridgework, the teeth on either side of the missing one must be prepared as crowns to serve as abutments to hold the prosthetic teeth in place. Crowns and bridges are most often made from superior materials such as semiprecious or precious metals, porcelain or a combination of metal fused to porcelain. Both appearance and function are considered when selecting the material most suitable for you.