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Crowns and Bridges

What is a crown?
A crown -- sometimes called a "cap " -- is a tooth-like covering placed over a carefully prepared existing tooth. Used to strengthen, restore or improve the appearance of your natural tooth, a crown is placed on an individual tooth much like a thimble over your finger. In addition to being used to strengthen a tooth to accommodate the attachment of a fixed bridge, crowns serve many functions. One of the most common is to support the tooth when there is no longer sufficient tooth structure left to place a filling. Crowns may also be used to protect the structure of a tooth that is fractured or broken.

Why Is Crown and Bridge Treatment Necessary?
Losing a permanent tooth-whether it be due to dental decay, periodontal (gum) disease, injury or accident-can cause many serious problems for your neighboring teeth. Because the support and chewing forces are altered, the remaining teeth may begin to shift. The opposing tooth above or below the lost tooth can begin to move up or down and out of the socket, which can accelerate periodontal disease and further break down the bone structure. If the missing tooth is not replaced more teeth may eventually be lost due to the improper forces exerted during chewing.