Crowns are made in three ways: gold, porcelain fused to gold or all porcelain. These restorations are used to correct severe tooth decay, cracked teeth, misaligned teeth, or root-canal treated teeth. Crowns are lab processed restorations and provide a correct and stable occlusion (bite) as well as enhanced esthetics (with porcelain or porcelain fused to gold).
Onlays are fabricated by the laboratory either in gold or all porcelain to replace large aging fillings. Onlays are more conservative than a full-coverage crown.
Inlays are also laboratory processed restorations in gold or porcelain. Inlays are approximately filling size without the inclination to break down over time the way a traditional filling does and are actually cemented into place.
Generally made of porcelain fused to precious metals, bridges are used to replace missing teeth. Teeth adjacent (abutment teeth) to the missing tooth/teeth are prepared for a crown. This missing tooth will be replaced by a pontic (false tooth), which is cast in place with the abutment crowns. The pontic is virtually not detectible when smiling or talking and the bridge is cemented (fixed) in the mouth.
Partials or Dentures
Partials and dentures are used to replace many missing teeth. These are removable appliances, which are fabricated with a cast chrome or gold framework and/or with a heat processed resin. Replacement teeth are fixed into the resin in a fashion that resembles the original dentition. They are designed to look natural.