Ever wondered what a crown or a bridge is? Crowns and bridges are used to restore decayed, missing or weakened teeth. Unlike dentures, crowns and bridges are permanently cemented onto existing teeth or implant and will usually be recommended by dentists following fillings, extractions, root canal treatments or other teeth and gum problems.
What is a Crown?
Dental crowns are small “caps” that are custom made and placed over your existing tooth. They are used when your original tooth is still intact, but is too weak to remain unprotected.
If you have a broken, decayed or otherwise weak tooth, a crown can add structure and strength, while improving the overall appearance of your teeth. Sometimes a crown is used in place of a new filling if there isn’t a lot of tooth left, or following a root canal treatment to enhance protection and prevent the tooth from cracking or breaking.
What Type of Crowns Are Available?
Crowns are available in porcelain, ceramic, metal or acrylic materials. Your family dentist will help you decide which material is going to best suit your problem.
Porcelain or ceramic crowns are often the most popular because they can be matched to the colour of your surrounding teeth, meaning that the crown won’t be noticeable at all. However, other materials such as gold, metal alloys and acrylic are stronger and may be recommended by your dentist if your tooth needs a high amount of reinforcement.
What is a Bridge?
When a tooth is extracted or has fallen out completely, the space that is left between the teeth can cause many problems, such as gum sensitivity, problems in chewing/eating, changes in gum/teeth structure, soreness and infections.
Bridges are designed to help you avoid these issues by using a false tooth to fill the gap. This both restores your original bite and ensures the original appearance of your teeth is maintained.
In this case, crowns and bridges are used together: crowns are placed over the teeth on either side of the gap and these serve to hold the new false tooth in place.
What Type of Bridges Are Available?
As with crowns, bridges come in a variety of materials, such as gold, alloys and porcelain, or a combination. The material chosen is based on the location of the missing tooth and the level of strength the tooth requires. Your family dentist can guide you through the choices available and help you make the right bridge decision.
Crowns and Bridges – Which is Best?
Generally speaking, if you have a broken or decayed tooth, a crown will be best for you. If your tooth is completely missing, however, you’ll need to opt for a bridge (along with crowns on either side).
With the proper care, crowns and bridges can last for a lifetime. Like your regular teeth, good oral hygiene, regular checkups and cleans and avoiding grinding or clenching your teeth can all keep your crowns and bridges healthy and strong.
Do you live in the Wollondilly or Narellan areas? Visit Somerset Dental Care today to learn more about crowns and bridges or make an appointment to start improving the health and appearance of your teeth!