Crowns have many different applications in dentistry. They offer protection and structural support to teeth, but they can also restore the ability to chew and act as connectors. Here are a few different types of crowns and their uses:
A dental implant is commonly used to replace a single missing tooth. However, the implant alone is not enough to complete the restoration.
Dental implants are titanium screws or rods that are placed inside your jawbone surgically to replace dental roots. Once an implant is in place, it gradually stabilizes inside the bone through osseointegration, a healing process that results in the fusion of the implant with the bone of the jaw. After the implant wound has healed and the implant is stable, a connector is added so that an implant crown can be attached to the device.
The crown is the final component of the implant restoration. To ensure that an implant restoration looks natural, a porcelain or porcelain-over-metal crown is typically used. The exact shade of white of the porcelain can be matched to the color of your natural teeth, so the implant crown is difficult to discern from the natural crowns in your mouth.
Dental bridges are also used to replace teeth that have been lost. The bridges are fixed in the mouth by bridge crowns that are bonded to abutment teeth.
When a tooth is lost, there is often still a tooth on each side of the remaining gap. These teeth become anchors for the dental bridge.
The bridge includes a crown on each end and a replacement tooth in the center of the appliance. Before the bridge is placed, the two abutment teeth are filed down a bit to permit the bridge crowns to fit over them without altering the natural look of your teeth. After the abutment teeth are prepared, the bridge crowns are cemented into place and the bridge restoration is complete.
Bridge crowns are usually tooth-colored, and like implant crowns, may be matched to the color of your other teeth.
Pediatric crowns are used to cover primary teeth. These crowns are usually made of stainless steel and are molded over the teeth. Because they are made of stainless steel, they do not match the color of adjacent teeth. However, this is not usually an issue, because primary teeth are eventually lost.
To learn more about dental crowns and their applications, schedule an appointment with a dentist like Serene Smiles Dentistry.