Dentistry is an art as well as a science; dental crowns offer a perfect example of this. A dental crown or “cap” is a covering that fits over a damaged, decayed or unattractive tooth. It can even replace a tooth entirely as part of dental bridgework.
A crown completely covers a tooth above the gum line. This is in contrast to a dental veneer, which only covers a tooth's front surface and needs natural tooth structure to support it. Therefore, if a tooth is missing a significant amount of structure above the gum line, a crown would be the restoration of choice.
Crowns strengthen damaged teeth, allowing them to function normally again. When crafted from today's high-tech porcelains (dental ceramics), crowns are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. They can even be designed to improve upon a tooth's original appearance.
At Measham Dental we use zirconia crowns and bridges that are known for their high strength and are virtually unbreakable.
Creating a bridge
Crowns can also be used to create a lifelike replacement for a missing tooth. This is done with bridgework, which spans the space of the missing tooth and requires at least three crowns. Two of those crowns will be placed over healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth; they provide support for a third crown placed in between them. If more than one tooth is missing, more crowns will be needed to bridge the gap.
Crowns and bridgework require the same conscientious care as your natural teeth. Be sure to brush and floss between all of your teeth - restored and natural - every day to reduce the build-up of dental plaque. When you have crowns, it is even more important to maintain your regular schedule of cleanings at the surgery. Avoid using your teeth as tools (to open packages, for example). If you have a grinding habit, wearing a nightguard would be a good idea to protect your teeth and your investment.
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