Crowns and Bridges
Bridges are natural-looking fixed dental appliances that can replace a section of lost teeth. Because they are custom-made by our dental ceramist, bridges are barely noticeable and can restore the natural contour of teeth as well as the proper bite relationship between the upper and lower dentition.
Bridges are sometimes referred to as fixed partial dentures, because they are semi-permanent and are adhered to existing teeth or implants. Porcelain, high noble alloys(gold, platinum, etc.) or mixture of materials are usually used to make bridge appliances.
Crowns are synthetic caps, usually made of a material like porcelain (with or without high noble alloys), placed on the top of a tooth.
Crowns are typically used to restore a tooth's function and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal. When tooth decay has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed, crowns are often prosthesis of choice to restore the tooth.
Crowns are also used to attach removable dentures, cover implants, prevent a cracked tooth from worsening, or an existing filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislocated. Crowns also have an aesthetic use, and are applied when a discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to a natural and more pleasing appearance.
A tooth will usually be reduced in size to accommodate a crown. An impression is made of the existing tooth and an model is made. The impression is sent to a ceramist dental lab, which manufactures a custom-designed crown. In most cases, a temporary crown is applied until the permanent crown is ready. Permanent crowns are cemented in place.
Crowns are sometimes confused with veneers, but they are quite different. Veneers are typically applied only to relatively small areas on frontal aspects of anterior teeth.
Caring For Your Crowns
With proper care, a good quality crown could last up to eight years or longer(with many exceeding 15 years). It is very important to floss in the area of the crown to avoid excess plaque, food, or collection of debris(including tarter and calculus) around the restoration.
Certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) can significantly shorten the life of a crown. Moreover, eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the adhesion of the crown, or even damage the crown.