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What are dental crowns?

A crown is a cap which completely covers a tooth or dental implant.  A crown can be made from porcelain, gold, alloys or a combination of these materials.  Crowns are typically bonded to the teeth using a dental cement. Implant-supported crowns are typically attached to an implant with screws, or bonded with dental cement.

What are dental bridges?

bridge is used to fill a gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made up of three or more crowns splinted together. It is composed of crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap, and one or more false teeth in between to fill the gap.

An implant-supported bridge uses implants instead of teeth as the support for the missing tooth/teeth.

A bridge can be made from porcelain, gold, alloys or a combination of these materials.

When do I need a crown or bridge?

Crowns are often used to improve the strength or appearance of teeth which may otherwise not able to support a filling. They are necessary when a tooth has a higher probability of fracture, has large existing fillings, or has had a root canal treatment. They are often used along with an dental implant to replace missing teeth.

A bridge is used to replace one or more missing teeth. A bridge can be supported by natural teeth or implants. For a tooth-supported bridge the missing teeth should have supporting teeth on both sides that are strong and (ideally) free from gum disease. An implant-supported bridge is usually used to replace multiple missing teeth in one area (three or more).

This Page Has 12 Questions

The information provided below does not constitute dental advice and is general in nature. It does not take into account your personal dental health and should not be acted on without consultation with a certified dental professional.

Bathurst Centre Dental Care accepts no liability for any loss or injury arising out of the use of this website or reliance on the content of this website.

  1. I got a PFM crown on my tooth #22, 12 months ago. After this crown I had some growth on my papilla and my tongue touches this upper wall of inside mouth and I get constant slimy feeling. I have got this checked from many dentists, nobody was able to cure this issue. One dentist advised to excise this palatal papilla.

    1. Hi Farooq, unfortunately, it’s not possible to provide you with much insight regarding your crown without an actual physical examination. If the overgrown papilla is your main concern, a visit to a gum specialist (a periodontist) may help.

    1. Hi Dianara, unfortunately, I can’t really give you any advice without an in-person examination of your crown. Please consult a dentist as soon as possible to find out the cause and to prevent possible pain and tooth abscess.

  2. I had a root canal done on my lower left 2nd molar, the endodontist recommended me to a crown specialist. The crown specialist prepped my tooth for a crown, took a mould to have the crown created and gave me a temporary crown in the meantime.

    But he told me that before putting the permanent crown, he recommended that I go see a gum specialist for a gum surgery. Something about a small surgery that involves tearing the side of the gum open to shave a bit of the bone off. the reason being that if we didnt there would be a risk of gum infection later on.

    I am trying to find out whether such a procedure is common during root canal treatment?

    1. Hi RK, the gum surgery recommended to you is called a crown lengthening procedure. Without an examination it’s not possible to speculate on exactly why the procedure was recommended for you, but in cases where the decay is far below the gum line we may recommend a crown lengthening procedure. This is because the crown must be placed even deeper under the gum line to cover it, close to the bone. Over time, the close proximity of crown to the bone can potentially cause gum irritation or infection. It is a relatively common procedure, but not necessary for all crowns.

  3. Hi Dr Li, enamel has worn away on front teeth (at the back) due to deep bite. What is best treatment for this? Which are the better options, veneers or crowns and how can I correct bite. Have no pain.


    1. Hi Glenda, crowns are typically used to restore worn teeth. Veneers are typically used to cover only the front surface of the teeth, so they won’t be very useful for your situation. Prior to crown placement there may be a need for root canal treatment, gum surgery (to remove some bone and gum so the crown can be placed in a position to correct the deep bite), or braces (to correct the deep bite). The treatment(s) you need depend on how much the teeth are worn, how severe the deep bite is and the gum condition of those teeth. Please consult a dentist regarding the best treatment option(s) for your situation.

  4. I had a root canal on my 26 I going to place a porcelain crown over it. My question is do I require a post I would rather not put the post in it just the porcelain crown and it’s not porcelain fused to metal.

    1. Hi Danny, whether you need a post or not depends on how much natural tooth structure is still present in your tooth. If the majority of the tooth structure has been lost to cavities, then a post is needed to help support the filling (the core) which will then help support the crown. If not, there is a higher chance of the crown breaking off of the tooth. You will need to talk to the dentist who is doing the crown to see if you need a post or not.

    1. Hi Tammy, it is always possible to build up a tooth with a filling. However, if the tooth is too small or too broken down for a crown, a filling build on such a weak foundation may not last longer than the first time you bite into something. You will have to consult with your dentist to determine whether that is the case for your tooth.

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