What are Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges?
Dental Crowns are fixed prostheses and cemented into the tooth as opposed to the movable features, such as dentures and removable partial dentures, which can be removed and washed daily. Fixed crowns and prosthesis because they are cemented in existing teeth or in implants can only be removed by the dentist.
How do the dental crowns work?
The crown is used to cover entirely or only part of the crown of a damaged tooth. In addition to giving greater resistance to a damaged tooth, the crown can be used to improve the appearance, shape or alignment of the teeth in the arch. A crown can also be placed on an implant, giving it the shape and structure similar to that of the natural tooth, so that it can perform its functions. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can match the natural color of your teeth. Other materials used are gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramics. These metal alloys are generally sturdier than porcelain and may be recommended for posterior teeth. The porcelain is attached to a metal structure and is generally used for being tough and attractive.
We may recommend a dental crown for:
- Replacing a large restoration when there is not much tooth structure left;
- Protect a tooth weakened by fractures;
- Restore a fractured tooth;
- Connect a prosthesis;
- Covering a dental implant;
- Cover a discolored or deformed tooth;
- Cover a tooth that has undergone a canal treatment.
How do dental bridge work?
A fixed prosthesis may be recommended if you have lost one or more teeth. Failures left by missing teeth can cause the remaining teeth to rotate or move into the void spaces, resulting in a wrong bite. The imbalance caused by absent teeth can also lead to gingivitis and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction.
Fixed prostheses are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They fill the space where there are no teeth and can be cemented to natural teeth or implants near empty space. These teeth, called pillars, serve as anchors for the bridges. A replacement tooth called the pontic is welded to the crowns that line the abutments. As with crowns, you can choose the material used for the bridges. Your dentist can help you decide by taking into consideration the location of the missing tooth (or missing teeth), its function, the cosmetic aspects and its cost. Fixed porcelain or ceramic prostheses should have the same color as the natural teeth.
How are dental crowns and bridge made?
Before making a fixed crown or prosthesis, the tooth (or teeth) should be reduced in size so that the crown or bridge fits perfectly over the preparation. After reduction of the tooth/teeth, your dentist will make an exact mold for making the crown or bridge. If the option is for porcelain, your dentist will choose the exact color of the crown or bridge that matches the color of the other teeth.
From this mold, a dental laboratory (prosthetic) will make your crown or bridge, in the material specified by your dentist. A temporary crown or prosthesis will be placed in a place to cover the prepared tooth, while the permanent fixed crown or prosthesis is being made. When the definitive ones are ready, the crown or temporary prosthesis is removed so that the new one is cemented on the tooth or teeth already prepared.
What is the durability of dental crowns and dental bridges?
Although dental crowns or bridges can last a lifetime, they sometimes come loose or fall. The most important step in ensuring the longevity of your dental crown or dental bridge is to have a good oral hygiene practice. The dental bridge may lose its support if the teeth or bone supporting it are damaged by disease. Keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily. Also visit your dentist regularly for professional exams and cleanings. To prevent damage to your new crown or fixed prosthesis, avoid biting hard foods, ice or other hard objects.