A dental crown is a lab fabricated "cap" that is cemented over existing tooth structure.  A crown may be recommended after a tooth has been treated with a root canal, if the tooth has a large filling, or if the tooth is cracked.  A crown helps to bind the tooth together so as to prevent the tooth from chipping or cracking in the future.  A bridge is two crowns with a fake tooth (or pontic) in between.  A bridge is one of the recommended treatment options to replace a missing tooth.  In order to fabricate a crown/bridge the dentist must first remove a small amount of tooth structure on all surfaces to make room for the crown.  The dentist will then take an impression of the prepared tooth/teeth to send to the lab for crown/bridge fabrication.  The dentist will then fabricate a temporary crown/bridge to cover the tooth until the final crown/bridge is delivered from the lab.  Crowns/bridges can be made from various materials but most commonly they are made of gold, porcelain fused to gold, or ceramic.  Dr. Sikora and Dr. Babb will discuss with you the materials that are best suited for your specific needs.