Crowns and bridges are a more permanent solution to missing or damaged teeth. They are fixed prosthetic materials placed onto existing teeth or implants.
While there are several options in treating a tooth that may delay the need for a dental crown, it is often the recommended procedure to extend the life of a tooth for many years. For instance, a filling does not necessarily prevent you from needing a crown in the future. Although getting a dental crown can be costly, the procedure can serve for both cosmetic and functional purposes.
It can restore a fractured tooth,attach a bridge or protect a weak tooth from fracturing. Aesthetically, it can be used to cover a discoloured, poorly shaped tooth or cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment.
A dental crown works with the same idea of an actual crown, where it is placed over a tooth and encapsulates it, giving it strength and protection. It can also be put on top of an implant to give a tooth-like shape and build for proper function.
As mentioned earlier, another form of a fixed prosthetic device is a dental bridge. The main reason one would need to get a dental bridge is if there is a missing tooth, or one that is severely decayed and is not secure enough to hold a dental crown by itself. Dental bridges restore the frame of your smile by replacing the missing tooth. Additionally, the procedure can also aid in everyday actions such as proper chewing, biting and speaking. A dental bridge also prevents adjacent teeth from shifting into the empty space left by the missing tooth and this is important because it can affect the way you bite. Missing teeth can also cause imbalance and lead to more severe issues such as gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Bridges work by being cemented to the present teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth provide an anchor for the bridge. For both bridges and crowns, you get to choose from different types of materials. Your dentist can recommend what's most suitable for you based on the location of the missing tooth, its purpose, aesthetic appearance and cost. It is possible for both crown and bridges to match the natural colour of your teeth.
While crowns and bridges can last between 7-15 years or longer, they can potentially loosen or fall out. Practicing good oral hygiene is the best step you can take to ensure your crown or bridge lasts as long as possible. For instance, a bridge can lose its hold if the teeth keeping it in position are damaged by infections or disease. Therefore, keeping your teeth strong and healthy is the way to go.