Dental crowns and bridges are fixed dental devices that are used to restore sections of the teeth that need replacement. A dental crown is a tooth shaped cap that fits over a tooth. Many times this happens when a tooth is very decayed, yet the root is still strong and holding it in place. For example the decayed part of the tooth can be removed and a resulting stump can be left with the root still intact in the gum.
A crown can then be devised to fit over the stem of the tooth and is cemented into place with the result being as strong or stronger than the original tooth. The following situations may be ones where a crown would work well:
- Some teeth get so decayed that it would be impossible for it to support a filling.
- To restore a tooth that is broken already or worn down severely.
- To hold in place a dental bridge.
- To cover over a dental implant
- In order to create a dental cosmetic modification.
Bridge the Gap
Dental bridges actually bridge the gap between one or more teeth that are missing. A bridge can consist of two or more crowns on either side of a gap in the teeth. The teeth on the ends are called anchoring teeth, or abutment teeth, and usually they have a false tooth in between called a Pontic. Bridges can be made of porcelain, gold, alloys or a combination of these elements.
Bridges are used for cosmetic purposes, making it difficult to tell that most of the teeth in that region are artificial teeth. They give an individual the opportunity to restore their smile, and get their chewing ability back.The forces in a person’s bite is redistributed back into a normal position, and it prevents the existing teeth in the immediate area from drifting out of position.
Process of creating a Bridge
The process of creating a bridge is usually a two visit procedure where the first visit involves the preparation of the abutment teeth. These teeth have a portion of their enamel removed so the crowns may be placed over them. The next step is to make impressions of the teeth, and then the impression is sent to a dental lab where the permanent bridge will be constructed.
The dentist will construct a temporary bridge to wear until the permanent one is prepared, to protect the area until the second visit, when the permanent crown will be installed.
The second visit will involve the placement and fitting of the permanent bridge. There may be the requirement of several more visits to adequately fit and secure the new bridge. Once everything fits correctly, the bridge can be cemented into place. Thus dental crowns and bridges fit a particular need, allowing for years of further use of teeth that otherwise would have been lost.