When much of a tooth’s structure has been destroyed by cavities or trauma, a crown (or cap) is needed to restore the tooth to its proper form and function, and to reduce the risk of further destruction.
When a crown is necessary, the tooth is first prepared by the dentist and a very detailed impression is made of the tooth. A temporary crown is then placed on the tooth. The impression is sent to a local laboratory where a skilled technician fabricates the crown. After returning from the lab, the crown is thoroughly inspected by Dr. Matheson to ensure that it will fit properly on the tooth prior to cementing it into place.
A bridge is a treatment used to replace a missing tooth between two existing teeth. The teeth on either side of the missing tooth are prepared for crowns, an impression is made, and a temporary bridge is fabricated that you can wear until your permanent bridge is ready. In the lab, a false tooth (to replace your missing tooth) is splinted between the two crowns so that when the crowns are cemented into place, the false tooth takes the place of the missing tooth and is firmly and permanently in place.
Dental implants is another option for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are often recommended instead of a bridge as they replace the missing tooth without requiring that the adjacent healthy teeth be reshaped for a crown.