When too much tooth structure is missing due to tooth fracture or removal of decay and a simple filling is contraindicated, it may be necessary to place a crown (“cap”) on the tooth.
- A crown is a full-coverage restoration that is accomplished by reducing the tooth structure down a millimeter or two in all aspects of the tooth, to provide enough space to place the crown over the tooth.
- In some cases, when a lot of tooth structure has been removed or is missing due to decay removal or fracture, a crown –build-up may be required prior to preparing the tooth for a crown.
- A crown build-up replaces missing tooth structure to provide enough of a foundation to retain the crown when it is cemented over the tooth.
- Crowns are cemented in place with specialized cements.
- A full coverage crown provides support and long-term stability for a tooth.
If a tooth is missing and leaves a space between two teeth in either the upper or lower arch of teeth, the teeth on either side of the space can be prepared for a bridge.
A bridge consists of abutment crowns (the crowns that fit over the prepared teeth acting as supports for the bridge restoration) and pontic(s) the tooth (or teeth) that is held in the space to replace the missing tooth (teeth). The pontic is anchored to the abutment crowns and the bridge is cemented in place.