A crown (cap) is a tooth-like covering placed over a carefully prepared preexisting tooth. Crowns serve many functions, such as to strengthen, restore or improve the appearance of your natural tooth.
For example, a crown can support the tooth when there is no longer sufficient tooth structure left to place a filling. Crowns may also be used to protect the structure of a tooth that is fractured or broken, and can be attached to bridges or dentures.
A bridge is a custom device anchored to neighboring teeth that replaces one or more missing teeth. When a lost tooth is replaced with bridgework, the teeth on either side of the missing one are prepared as crowns to serve as abutments to hold the prosthetic (replacement) tooth in place.
Crowns and bridges are most often made from superior materials such as semiprecious or precious metals, porcelain, or a fused combination of the two. Aesthetics, function, and tissue compatibility are considered when selecting the material most suitable for you.