If a tooth is severely destroyed it needs a crown in order to function optimally in the mouth. In principle, a crown is a ‘shell’ that encircles the tooth. The crown protects the tooth and its ‘hoop’ effect prevents it from breaking. When a dentist is going to make a crown, s/he has to drill the tooth to give it a truncated cone shape. Once the tooth has been given the appropriate shape, the dentist takes an impression.
Based on the dentist’s impression of the tooth, a dental technician makes the crown. The dental technician ensures that the function and appearance of the crown equal those of a natural, intact tooth. A crown can be made in gold or in a tooth-colored material: for example, porcelain.
If you have lost one or more teeth, it/they can often be replaced by a bridge. A bridge cannot be removed from your mouth. It serves as ‘your own teeth’. When making a bridge, the dentist drills one or more of the teeth on both sides adjacent to the area where one or more teeth are missing. The teeth on either side of the missing tooth/teeth serve as bridge piers, keeping the bridge in place.
The dentist drills the teeth to achieve the aforementioned truncated cone shape, while the bridge piers must be parallel to each other. The dentist then takes impressions, which are sent to a dental technician. It is a good idea to use a special type of dental floss - ‘superfloss’ - to keep your bridge clean.
Making crowns and bridges requires several visits to the dentist.