A tooth crown (cap) is made when a tooth is too damaged to hold a filling or where a filling would not be strong enough to restore the tooth. The tooth is prepared by removing the outer damaged shell and making a “print” or impression of the prepared tooth. Then through several steps in a dental laboratory, a lifelike tooth made out of a very hard porcelain is cemented over the prepared tooth and it can then function and look like new.
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When one or more teeth are missing, crowns can be made for the teeth adjacent to the space with a connecting tooth or teeth to fill in or “bridge” the space. Once cemented into place, the bridge must be carefully cleaned when you brush your teeth and special bridge cleaning brushes and floss threaders can be used to get under the replacement teeth.
Usually, when preparing this type of tooth replacement, the teeth on eother side of the space are in need of crowns also due to decay, cracks, or broken down old fillings. When the teeth on either side of the space are healthy, modern dentistry can now replace a tooth or teeth with an “implant”.
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