Dentistry News and Blog
Dental Crowns and Bridges
Crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices. Unlike removable devices such as dentures, which you can take out and clean daily, crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants, and can only be removed by a dentist.
A crown is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. A crown can also be placed on top of an transplant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Other materials include gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic. These alloys are generally stronger than porcelain and may be recommended for back teeth. Porcelain put together with a metal shell is often used because it is both strong and attractive.
Your dentist may recommend a crown to:
- Replace a large filling when there isn't enough tooth remaining
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Attach a bridge
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
You think when do you need a bridge? A bridge may be recommended if you're missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to turn or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They put the space closer together where the teeth are missing. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. A replacement tooth, , is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Your dentist can help you decide which to use, based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations and cost. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.
How long can a crown or bridge last?
People may wonder how long can a crown or bridge last? While crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, they do sometimes come loose or fall out. The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown or bridge is to practice good oral hygiene. A bridge can lose its support if the teeth or bone holding it in place are damaged by dental disease. To have your teeth in good shape, keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing daily. Also see your dentist and hygienist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.