A crown or “cap” is a dental restoration that is fixed (cemented) onto natural teeth.

Dentists may recommend crowns for a variety of reasons. A tooth may have a large cavity, a fracture, or a large filling which may require additional support and reinforcement. Another situation that might prompt the dentist to recommend a crown might be if there is a crack in a tooth causing the patient pain when biting down, or if a tooth has had a root canal, and needs further reinforcement to ensure good chewing strength and longevity for years.

A bridge, on the other hand, is a restoration that spans a gap or space created by one restoration that is cemented to natural teeth, but in this case, it is cemented to the teeth on either side of the space. It is a good choice of restoration when the natural anchor teeth would benefit from the full coverage reinforcement similar to a crown. The bridge essentially looks like two crowns connected by a false tooth in the middle- which is called the pontic tooth. The pontic tooth sits in the space created by the missing tooth.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do dental crowns last?

Dental crowns generally last between 10 – 15 years as long as the patient maintains good oral hygiene. With good home care, and regular dental check ups, a crown can likely last even longer.

Is a dental crown better than a filling?

A dental crown is sometimes better for the tooth if the tooth already has a large filling on it, and that filling needs to be replaced. The crown has the advantage of being able to brace and reinforce the tooth better than filling material. When a filling gets too big, there may no longer be enough natural tooth to support it and the tooth may break again.

Does a crown match my natural teeth shade or colour?

Yes, when crowns are made by the dental lab, they are made using ceramics that are pre-colour matched to your tooth.

Interior of dental office in thunder bay