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Crowns and Bridges

Home/Crowns and Bridges

What are dental crowns and bridges?

A dental crown is a cap, which is tooth-shaped, and it is used to strengthen and protect a tooth. A dental bridge replaces a missing tooth by binding adjacent teeth together, forming a bridge. Both crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices, which means that they are cemented into place and can only be removed by a dentist.

How do dental crowns work? 

A crown acts as a cap over a tooth. This means that it provides strength and protection to the tooth structure and it also means that it can be made to improve the tooth’s appearance, shape or alignment. Different types of materials are used to make crowns, such as gold, acrylic, ceramic and porcelain. Porcelain crowns mimic the natural colour of teeth and can be combined with metal to provide high strength as well as aesthetics.

Why do I need a dental crown?

A dental crown might be recommended for the following reasons:

  • To replace a large filling – a dental crown can be used when there isn’t enough tooth structure remaining to use a conventional filling material.
  • To improve the strength of a weakened tooth and prevent its fracture – including root canal treated teeth
  • For bridge attachment – a replacement tooth is attached to one or more crowned teeth for support.
  • To act as the tooth on a dental implant
  • To hide discoloured or wrongly shaped teeth

How do dental bridges work? 

A dental bridge replaces a missing tooth by binding adjacent teeth together, forming a bridge. Bridges are cemented to natural teeth or implants that are adjacent to the empty space. This is done by preparing those adjacent teeth to have a bridge placed on top, in the same way that a tooth is prepared for a dental crown. Once the teeth have been prepared and sufficiently reduced in size to place the bridge on top, various stages of impression taking and bridge trials happen until both the dentist and the patient are satisfied with the final outcome. Then the bridge is cemented into place where it will remain fixed.

Why do I need a dental bridge?

  • Aesthetics – the way you look affects the way you feel.
  • Restore your smile
  • Improve your ability to chew and speak
  • Gaps can cause adjacent teeth to rotate and move – this can lead to problems with oral hygiene and eventually cause periodontal problems.

How long do dental crowns and bridges last?

Dental crowns and bridges can last a long time, even a lifetime if they are looked after correctly. However it is also possible for them to become loose overtime and eventually fall out. In order to prevent this you should continue to practice good oral hygiene and regularly see your dentist.



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