If you have a gap in your teeth from a tooth that was pulled in the past, it's not too late to do something about it. Your dentist can fill in the gap with a crown that's put on an implant rod so the gap is filled and your smile is more attractive. Here's how a crown takes the place of a missing tooth.

A Dental Crown Is Like An Artificial Tooth

Dental crowns are made of different materials, but when the crown is toward the front of your mouth where it is easily seen, the crown is often made of porcelain. Porcelain is a good material for crowns because it is very similar to natural enamel. The color of the crown is matched perfectly to your other teeth and the surface is polished so the porcelain reflects light and has depth just like a real tooth.

When you have a large cavity that needs to be filled, the dentist can put a crown over the tooth once the decay has been removed. Then, the dental work looks like a natural tooth. However, if your bad tooth has already been pulled, there's nothing to attach the crown to, so an implant is inserted to take the place of the missing tooth root so the crown can be attached to the implant post. There is another option your dentist might suggest and that's putting in a bridge to hold the artificial tooth in place. A traditional bridge consists of the artificial tooth that goes in the gap and a crown on each side that fits over the nearby teeth. The crowns hold the artificial tooth in place when there is no tooth root or post in the gap.

You Care For A Crown Just Like A Natural Tooth

A crown not only looks natural, it also functions like a natural tooth and you care for it like you do your other teeth. The only thing you can't do with a crown is whiten it with tooth whitening products. Other than that, you brush the crown to get rid of bacteria and control odors to maintain good oral hygiene.

You may be most interested in getting a dental crown so it improves your appearance, but a crown is important for other reasons, too. By filling the gap between your teeth, you might prevent your teeth from shifting, and when you get an implant for your crown, you might even slow down bone loss due to stimulation the implant rod provides. If you have a gap from a missing tooth that has always bothered you, then talk to your dentist about the best way to fill the gap so you don't have to be self-conscious when you smile.