If your tooth is damaged but not lost, a crown (also called a cap) can be used to cover the damaged part of your tooth. A crown protects your tooth from further damage. You may need a crown if you:
- have a root canal
- have a large filling in a tooth
- have a broken tooth or
- tooth is badly stained, not the right shape or out of line
Crowns can be made of different kinds of metals, porcelain or porcelain fused to metal. They are strong and last for about 10 years, if you take good care of them. Brush and floss your crown, just like you clean your natural teeth.
If a tooth is lost, it is important to replace it with a false (or artificial) tooth as soon as possible. This procedure will prevent your remaining teeth from drifting out of line and causing other problems.
A bridge is also called a “fixed bridge” or a “fixed partial denture.” A bridge can replace one or more missing teeth and is held firmly in place by healthy teeth on each side of the missing one(s). You cannot take a bridge out. It is permanent.
A dental bridge is placed on the teeth or implants on either side of the gap created by the missing tooth. In order for a dental bridge to be placed, your doctor will shape the neighboring teeth or implants so that they can support the bridge.
Inlays & Onlays
Inlays and onlays are used to replace your failing silver fillings. These restorations are usually made from composite resin material or porcelain, Once placed, they are virtually undetectable in the mouth, and they conserve much of your natural tooth structure.