Crowns & Bridges

What are Crowns & Bridges?

While bonding is sufficient to repair many minor problems, sometimes it is necessary to take a more significant step to correct more serious dental problems. In some cases, this next step involves the use of crowns and bridges. Not only can crowns or bridges repair damaged, stained, or broken teeth, but they can also completely replace one or more teeth that are missing. A crown, called a “cap” by many, will be used to cover a tooth completely if it is in need of serious restoration.


Crowns have several advantages:

  • A crown can replace a larger filling when the damaged tooth has minimal remaining tooth structure.
  • A crown can provide strength to a weaker tooth and prevent fracturing.
  • A crown can restore a tooth that may already be cracked or fractured.
  • A crown can cover a crooked, stained, or misshaped tooth and give it a more natural look.
  • A crown can provide protection for a tooth that has had a root canal.
  • A crown can align a crooked tooth.
  • A crown can provide major improvement to the aesthetic appearance of a tooth.

In some cases, multiple teeth have been lost to decay or an accident. In these cases, a bridge may be used instead of a crown. A bridge will fill in the gaps left by multiple missing teeth. A bridge is made up of multiple artificial teeth that are cemented into place using the patient’s remaining natural teeth as anchors of support. This is done for a couple of practical purposes. It keeps the bone structure from dissolving away where teeth are missing. The artificial teeth also improve the aesthetic look of your smile.

There are several options for material to be used in your bridge or crown. Your choice will be influenced by what is needed for strength, durability, or aesthetics. Your dentist can help you choose from the following options:

  • You can choose from several different metals. The positive aspect of metal is that it is strong and durable. The negative aspect of metal is that it is very visible and does not blend with your natural teeth. Metal works well for children’s baby teeth and for permanent teeth that are less visible.
  • When visible teeth need a crown or bridge, a good choice is a porcelain-fused-to-metal. The exterior shows the more desirable look of porcelain, while the underneath is supported by the superior strength of metal.

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  • I have a fear of needles, and due to that, I had let the condition of my teeth and mouth deteriorate. Thanks to the patience and gentle care of Dr. Shelly and his staff, I was able to have my teeth put back into great condition. Several long procedures were performed with sedation dentistry. During these procedures, I had no discomfort or pain. I am now a firm believer in sedation dentistry and Dr. Shelly in particular. I would recommend Dr. Shelly and his staff to anyone.
  • I just wanted to say thank you to Dr. Lee & Dr. Fort for taking the time to provide the care I needed on such short notice yesterday to get me in for the root canal. I feel SO MUCH BETTER!!! For the first time in over a week, I had a great night's sleep last night! As with all of the staff and three doctors, I am so glad you are all such caring, pleasant, professional people to deal with on a consistent basis. Thank you!
  • I would like to thank your practice for providing excellent service. I received a free exam and x-rays from Dr. Fort and was pleased with the attention, detail and courteous behavior. I think the free exam is a great way to attract clients. Not only that, but the questionnaire regarding any concerns or uncomfortable issues for the patient was appreciated. I had not been to the dentist in many years, and these services made my visit easy. Your office is to be commended for its “bedside manner” – so many health professionals lack that.
  • Just a short note to thank everyone for the wonderful, patient, and caring treatment I received at your office. My anxiety level was sky high when I arranged to have the extensive dental work done; no one could have been more afraid than I was, but you all made it easy for me and thanks to the sedation help, I breezed through it. Many, many thanks to all! P.S. I’m really enjoying having a mouthful of beautiful teeth and chewing is a pleasure!
  • I just wanted to thank you for the movie tickets and for giving my wife such great treatment. I never expected to be rewarded for bugging my wife to get to the dentist. She loves you guys (as I told her for years that she would) and is glad she finally came in. See you again in a couple of months. Take care.
  • I want to thank you for all the great work you have done with the braces and crowns. You do the best work I have seen and it is always a pleasure to come into the office. Your entire staff makes me feel welcome every time I come though the front door. Keep the great team work up. You are all the ‘Best.’
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