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Dental crowns, also known as “caps,” preserve the functionality of damaged teeth. Crowns may be used to protect a cracked tooth, restore functionality of a tooth with excessive decay or a large existing filling, or replace a pre-existing crown. The purpose of a dental crown is to encase a needy tooth with a custom-designed material.
Fixed partial dentures (aka dental bridges) are an extension of the dental crown treatment for replacement of missing teeth.
Crowns are placed on the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth or teeth and connected to a missing tooth-like replica. Although bridges may serve as a functional and esthetic restoration, today’s treatment-of-choice for a missing tooth or teeth is with dental implants.
A dental implant replaces missing teeth with a titanium root replica. A crown is then placed on the implant above the gumline. Dental implants are a very predictable treatment choice, returning support to the bite and preventing the need for the unnecessary crowning of adjacent teeth.
The predominant material choice for all-ceramic crowns today is either zirconia, or aluminous materials. They provide a metal-free esthetic option with a number of benefits.
By eliminating the need for the supportive metal core, an esthetic all-ceramic crown can be created with a reduced thickness of material. This makes them a more favorable treatment choice in areas with limited space. Additionally, the elimination of the metal core allows for light transmission through the porcelain for better optical, life-like properties and a higher level of esthetics.