Dental crowns and bridges are both fixed prosthetics – but don’t get the two mixed up! Crowns are designed to cover or replace one tooth, while bridges are designed to connect over a missing tooth.
Let’s look at that in a little more detail.
WHAT ARE CROWNS?
Crowns are ‘cemented’ onto your tooth. They function as a cap over a problematic tooth and are designed to hide or rectify common dental issues. It’s essentially a faux tooth designed to match your existing natural tone. A cap can be used to:
- Replace large fillings
- Protect weaker teeth
- Conceal misshapen teeth
- Conceal discoloured teeth
- Prevent teeth fracturing
- Restore damaged teeth
- Conceal a dental implant
- Conceal a root canal site
WHAT ARE BRIDGES?
Bridges connect the space between two teeth that are separated. That separation can come about from missing or extracted teeth – but leaving the space vacant will certainly increase the chance your teeth will shift and become misaligned. Misalignment can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular issues, like TMJ headaches. A bridge is fitted over two crowns (or over implants if it’s not possible to fit the existing teeth with crowns).
HOW DO THEY LOOK?
Most prosthetics are offered in porcelain, ceramic, resin or gold casts. They can be tailored to your natural smile and facial profile – fabricated to imitate the set of your teeth entirely – or you can elect to keep a gold cast.
HOW DO THEY WORK?
It’s reassuring to know exactly what’s going to happen when you step into the dentist’s clinic. Here’s what to expect if you book in for a dental crown or bridge treatment.
- First, anaesthetic!
- Once sufficiently numbed, the problematic tooth must be filed down to allow the crown or bridge to fit over the top. Your dentist will remove any decay from around the tooth and restore its structure.
- You will make an impression of the remaining tooth for a dental lab to fabricate a mould. This mould will become the cast for the crown or bridge.
- Your dentist will colour-match to your healthy teeth if you elect a porcelain or ceramic bridge.
- A temporary prosthetic will be fitted to the space, and the permanent version will be fabricated in a dental lab.
- At your second appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary prosthetic.
- The crown will be adjusted to fit your mouth, then ‘cemented’ in around the original tooth. If you’re receiving a bridge, the dentist will fit the bridge between two crowns.
- You’ll look in the mirror and see a beautifully restored smile!
HOW LONG WILL THEY LAST?
Dental crowns and bridges can last anywhere from 7-15 years, depending on your maintenance routine and the regularity of your dental checkups.
HOW CAN TLC DENTAL HELP?
TLC can fit crowns and bridges with ease for missing, broken or otherwise compromised teeth. Fitting dental crowns and bridges is possible at all of our high-tech dental clinics – because nothing feels better than restoring your mouth to its original state!
Contact us today to find out more about dental crowns, bridges and a host of other services we offer our patients.