What Are Crowns and Bridges?

Crowns and Bridges are dentures that are permanently placed in the mouth. Unlike the removable prosthesis, which can be removed and cleaned daily, fixed Bridges and Crowns are cemented on teeth or existing implants, and only a dentist can extract them.

A Crown is used to completely cover a tooth that has been damaged. In addition, it can be used to improve the appearance, shape or alignment of the tooth. A Crown can also be placed on an implant to achieve the shape and the functional structure of a tooth. It is possible to match the color of the porcelain or ceramic Crowns with your natural teeth. Other materials include gold and acrylic, metal alloys and ceramics. These alloys tend to be more resistant than the porcelain, and are recommended for posterior teeth. Occasionally, porcelain is cemented to the external face of a metal Crown, offering a strong and aesthetically pleasing restoration.

The dentist may recommend a Crown for:

  • Replacing large fillings, when there is enough tooth
  • Repairing a fractured tooth
  • Covering a dental implant
  • Covering a tooth that is discolored or deformed
  • Covering a tooth that has undergone root canal treatment

If you are missing one or more teeth, the dentist will recommend a Bridge. The clearances between the missing teeth cause the remaining teeth to rotate or move into empty spaces, which leads to an improper bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also produce disease of the gums and joint disorders temporomandibular (TMJ).

Bridges are often used to replace one or more missing teeth, and occupy the space left by them. The dentist cements the Bridges to natural teeth surrounding the gap or implants placed in the space without teeth. The teeth that support the Bridge are called pillars. The Bridge includes the tooth’s replacement (in the edentulous space) necessary to cover the loss. These teeth are attached to the crowns covering teeth pillars. As with crowns, there are various materials used for Bridges. The dentist can help you decide which to use depending on the location of the tooth or teeth missing, its function, aesthetic considerations and cost. The color of the porcelain or ceramic bridges will be matched to your natural teeth.

Before making a Crown or a Bridge, the dentist (like the one found here: http://chippaluskadmd.com must reduce the size of the tooth or teeth so that the Crown or Bridge fits properly on it. Then the dentist will take a dental impression to provide a precise mold for the Crown or Bridge. If you are using porcelain, the dentist will determine the correct hue to match the color of the Crown or Bridge to your teeth. Using this impression, a dental lab makes a Crown or Bridge of the material specified by the dentist. While waiting for the Crown or the permanent Bridge, the dentist will make a temporary Bridge or Crown to cover the prepared tooth. When the Crown or the permanent Bridge is ready, the temporary Bridge or Crown will be removed and the new permanent Crown or Bridge will be cemented to the prepared tooth.

Although Crowns and Bridges can last a lifetime, sometimes they get loose or fall out. Practicing good oral hygiene is the most important measure that can be taken to ensure the longevity of your Crown or Bridge. If the teeth or bones that hold a bridge are damaged by a dental disease, the bridge will lose support. Keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and using dental floss daily. In addition, see the dentist and hygienist periodically for an examination and professional cleanings. To prevent damage to a new Crown or Bridge, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects.