While many of us would have heard these terms before, there is sometimes a little confusion over which is which, and what they actually entail. Both of them are fixed prosthetics that are joined to teeth, and cannot be removed like dentures, but they do vary in which conditions are best. Crown and bridge dental care is immensely important to keep their longevity, and proper oral hygiene and maintenance should keep them in great condition for a lifetime.
Crowns are very useful for fortifying a damaged tooth, as well as improving its appearance and shape, and how it aligns with its surrounding teeth. It sits over the tooth to cap it, and can also be used on an implant to add a natural tooth shape and function. Crowns can be made from many materials, with porcelain and ceramic commonly used thanks to colour-matching to other teeth for a confident smile. Other materials include gold and metal alloys, which are generally stronger than porcelain therefore commonly used for back teeth.
Bridges are usually recommended if you’re missing one or more teeth, where gaps occur. These gaps can give surrounding teeth extra freedom of movement, which can mean rotating and shifting out of place and causing problems for your bite, as well as potentially eventuating into gum disease and pain in the jaw joints, also known as temporomandibular joint disorder.
Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the gap, and ‘bridge’ this space with a replacement tooth. The surrounding teeth, called abutments, hold the bridge in place, which holds them in place in return. The replacement tooth, or pontic, is attached to the abutments, and the bridge has been successfully fitted. Bridges can be developed from a selection of materials, and these can be whittled down by considering where the tooth is, its purpose, its presentation and its cost. Like the crown, porcelain and ceramic can be colour matched to your surrounding natural teeth.
How Are They Made?
First, the teeth or abutments must be reduced in size, to accommodate the crown or bridge properly. Once the designated teeth/tooth has been reduced, your dentist develop a mold for the crown or bridge, and any colour selections will take place. This mold will then be used to create the fixture in the material that you and your dentist have agreed upon and, once the crown or bridge has been completed, it will be cemented over your prepared teeth/tooth.
Crowns and bridges are relatively straightforward dental procedures, with cost options ranging to meet any needs. If you’re concerned about your dental health, make an appointment with one of our experienced dentists to make sure that there are no underlying issues that could be damaging your oral hygiene.