Crowns & Bridges
Crowns and bridges are used when teeth are damaged or extracted. These reconstructive restorations are sealed onto your teeth or implanted to be stable replacements for broken teeth.
The Basics of Dental Crowns
When a decayed, root-canaled, fractured, or broken tooth occurs, a crown "caps" the tooth to protect it. Dentists use crowns to strengthen the damaged tooth and improve the appearance of it. If a tooth has been extracted and an implant has been put in, a crown is placed over the implant and abutment to give it a tooth-like look and feel.
Crowns can be made out of a variety of materials. Porcelain or ceramic crowns are used to match the color of your teeth and are recommended for front teeth.
Crowns made of other materials, including gold, metal, acrylic, and ceramic, are stronger than porcelain crowns. These materials may be recommended for teeth that experience the most wear and tear, like back teeth.
Alternatively, patients can choose a metallic base with a porcelain top to enjoy the strength and cosmetic purposes of both materials.
The Basics of Bridges
Fixed bridges, like crowns, are not removable. Bridges "bridge" the gap where one or more teeth are missing. They are bonded to natural teeth or implants found on both sides of the gap.
The implants and/or natural teeth ("abutments") support the bridge and keep it in place. A replacement tooth (a "pontic") works with the crowns that protect the abutments to ensure your remaining teeth maintain position. If teeth are removed and no bridge is used, teeth shift into the open spaces which will cause improper bites, gum disease, and temporomandibular joint disorders. The bridge prevents these shifts and their serious impact to oral health.
Bridges are made out of a variety of materials, similar to crowns. To match the color of your teeth, porcelain or ceramic material may be used. Different types of bridges are used depending on where the missing teeth are located, the function of the specific teeth, cosmetic concerns, and price.
Do Crowns & Bridges Fall Out?
Crowns and bridges are designed to last forever, but on occasion, they can become loose or fall out. The best way to avoid this is to practice good oral health habits. Brushing twice daily, flossing daily, seeing a dentist twice a year for professional cleanings, and avoiding eating hard foods or ice can extend the likelihood of long-lasting crowns and bridges.