Crowns are porcelain or gold fixtures that aim to strengthen weakened or damaged teeth. The crown fits over the existing damaged tooth, replacing the full exterior, or natural crown. Crowns may be fitted to patients who have suffered from a tooth trauma, an impact or fall that results in chips or breakages. Other damage including a high level of decay weaken teeth increasing the risk of further damage. In these cases a crown may be used to strengthen the tooth again. In some cases natural wearing of teeth or even other treatments such as root canals can significantly weaken teeth and crowns can be used to treat them.
Bridges are fixtures used to treat missing teeth. They consist of an artificial tooth that is anchored to the natural healthy teeth on each side of the gap. When teeth are too damaged to be treated with a crown or are actually missing a bridge could be a treatment option. Teeth have many functions apart from chewing and biting, which is why it’s important that missing teeth are replaced. This will improve the appearance of the smile, prevent damage to other teeth, prevent nearby teeth from shifting and maintain the natural bite.
Crowns and bridges are usually made of porcelain and gold alloy. The tooth is shaped and reduced in size, making it smaller by one to two millimetres. An impression is taken and sent to a dental technician who makes the crown or bridge. To protect the tooth while the fixture is being created, a temporary crown may be attached. Once the fixture is completed it will be fitted and secured into place using strong cement.
WHY WOULD I NEED A CROWN OR BRIDGE?
There are a number of reasons as to why you may require a dental crown or bridge. You could require a dental crown or bridge due to ongoing dental issues, such as decay or gum disease. Alternatively, you may incur a dental emergency which requires a crown or bridge to fix the issue. Trauma may lead to your tooth breaking or cracking.
Other reasons include if your tooth has a weakened structure, as a necessary requirement for root canal therapy, injury or trauma, as a fix for decay, or as a way to restore teeth from excessive clenching or tooth grinding. Crowns can also be required for the dental bridge process.
Dental crowns and bridges are fitted specifically for your mouth. That means they can be sized, shaped and coloured to fit in with the rest of your mouth. A natural looking crown can blend in with the rest of your teeth, giving a complete appearance. Not to mention, the strength of the prosthetic means it can function nearly as well as a normal tooth. If you take care of your dental crowns and bridges properly, they can last many, many years.