A crown – or ‘cap’ – is an artificial tooth-shaped cover that fits over and restores a prepared tooth to its ideal shape and function, whilst protecting and improving the cosmetic appearance of the underlying tooth. Crowns are great for teeth that are broken, decayed or heavily filled, and can be used to hide discoloured fillings. The added bonus is that they look real and will be matched in both size and colour to your other teeth so no one need know you’ve got one. They can be made of porcelain or gold or a combination of these materials.
Besides having dental implants, 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. Bridges do as their name suggests: they literally ‘bridge’ the gap created by one or more missing teeth. This makes them an ideal option for people who only have one or two teeth to replace and who don’t want to have dentures. Bridges are normally made by crowning the teeth either side of the gap and attaching a false tooth in the middle. They can be made from gold, alloys,
porcelain or a combination of these materials.