Crown and bridge refers to the restoration of teeth using materials that are fabricated by indirect methods which are cemented into place .
Traditionally, the teeth to be crowned are prepared by a dentist and records are given to a dental technician to fabricate the crown or bridge, which can then be inserted at another dental appointment. The main advantages of the indirect method of tooth restoration include:
- fabrication of the restoration without the need for having the patient in the chair
- the utilization of materials that require special fabrication methods, such as casting
- the use of materials that require intense heat to be processed into a restoration, such as gold and porcelain.
When decay is first detected in a tooth, the usual action taken by the dentist is to provide the tooth with an intracoronal restoration: a restoration consisting of a dental material that will exist totally within the confines of the remaining tooth structure. The restoration commonly referred to as a "cavity filling" is an intracoronal restoration, and can consist of a number of materials, including silver-colored amalgam, tooth-colored resin or gold. Inlays are also intracoronal restorations.