Decayed or Missing Teeth
A crown is an artificial restoration that fits over the remaining part of a prepared tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape of a natural tooth. A crown is sometimes known as a ‘cap’. Crowns are an ideal restoration for teeth that have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling.
A crown could be used for a number of other reasons, for instance:
- you may have discoloured fillings and would like to improve the appearance of the tooth
- you may have had a root filling which will need a crown to protect it
- it may help hold a bridge or denture firmly in place.
Besides having a dental implant, there are two main ways to replace missing teeth. The first is with a removable false tooth or teeth – a partial denture. The second is with a fixed bridge.
A bridge is usually used where there are fewer teeth to replace, or when the missing teeth are only on one side of the mouth. Bridges are usually made of a precious metal base. If the bridge will show, porcelain is then bonded to the base. Sometimes, there are other non-precious metals used in the base to reduce the cost.
You should replace missing teeth for a number of reasons. Your appearance is one reason. Another is that the gap left by a missing tooth can mean greater strain is put on the teeth at either side. A gap can also mean your ‘bite’ is affected, because the teeth next to the space can lean into the gap and alter the way the upper and lower teeth bite together. This can then lead to food getting packed into the gap, which causes both decay and gum disease.
If you want general information on a condition or treatment, go to the British Dental Health Foundation’s web site where they have over 40 online leaflets.
Want to find out about dental treatment? Want to know how to look after your teeth better? Visit the new BDA Smile web site.
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