What Are They?
Crowns and bridges are fixed prosthetic devices, which are cemented onto existing teeth or implants.
What are Crowns used for?
Crowns are used to cover a damaged tooth, which strengthens and improves the tooth’s appearance, shape, and alignment. The crown can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure. Crowns can be matched to the color of your teeth using porcelain or ceramic material. Other materials may be used such as, gold, metal alloys, and acrylic.
Crowns may be used to restore a fractured tooth, attach a bridge, protect a weak tooth, replace a large filling, cover an implant, cover a discolored tooth, or to cover a tooth that has had a root canal.
What are Bridges used for?
Bridges are necessary when you are missing one or more teeth. Because missing teeth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift or rotate, bridges help balance out your bite and prevent gum disease and TMJ disorders.
The bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These abutments are anchors for the bridge, and allow the bridge to stay in place. Similar to crowns, bridges are usually made of porcelain or ceramic, and can be easily matched to the color of your teeth.
How are they made?
To prepare for a crown or bridge, the tooth must be made smaller so the crown or bridge can properly fit over it. The dentist will then take an impression of the tooth, which provides an exact mold for the crown or bridge. A dental lab will then use the impression taken from your tooth to make the crown or bridge, and a temporary crown or bridge is put over the prepared tooth while the real crown or bridge is being made. When ready, the real crown or bridge is cemented onto your prepared tooth.
How Long Do They Last?
Crowns and Bridges can last years with proper care and good oral hygiene. Rarely, crowns or bridges can become loose or fall out, but that will only occur if the tooth or bone holding the crown or bridge is damaged by dental disease. It is also helpful to avoid chewing hard foods when you first receive your new crown or bridge.