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Crowns and Bridges

Do I need a crown?

A crown (also known as a “cap”) are the preferred restoration when large parts of the tooth are missing, following a root canal, the tooth has cracks, or when the tooth has been chipped or worn down. 

What is a crown?

A crown works to protect weakened teeth from future cracks and fractures. Crowns come in a variety of materials including tooth colored porcelain, gold, as well as tooth colored zirconia. We look at each tooth individually to determine which material would be best for you based on your bite, esthetic goals, and the amount of tooth missing. 


A lot of patients ask why they cannot get a large filling. The reason has to do with the location of the bite. Large fillings are likely to be broken off if you bite on them hard where the tooth and filling meet. As dentists, fillings must match the existing tooth’s shape. If the tooth broke because of a problem in the bite or a faulty restoration, replacing it with the same will likely have the same outcome. In contrast, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. They are made of a stronger material and can be shaped as needed to ensure a good, strong restoration.

What is a bridge?

After losing a tooth, a bridge can help remove the glaring gap to restore your confidence in smiling. While there are many options to restore a missing tooth, bridges are one of the best options if you do not want a removable appliance. Bridges are an option for patients missing a tooth (or teeth) with teeth on both sides of the missing gap. Not only will a bridge restore the missing tooth and confidence, but they also prevent the neighboring tooth from moving. For a bridge, we first ensure the teeth on both sides are healthy with stable bone. A crown (also known as a cap) must be prepared on the teeth next to the gap before “bridging” the gap with a tooth replacement. Impressions are then taken to allow the lab to use porcelain, gold, or zirconia to bridge the missing gap.  Before selecting a bridge, several criteria must be met. Next, we make sure the shape of the teeth will not be weakened significantly through prepping a bridge. 


With bridges, ongoing maintenance is crucial. The surrounding gums, bone, and the teeth must all be healthy to ensure the long-term survival of the bridge. Schedule an appointment with Cooley Cosmetic and Family Dentistry to determine if a crown or bridge is the best option for you.

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