Crowns and bridges are dental structures which are used for restorative purposes. They are a great way to improve the aesthetics of one's dental set-up. Dr. T. Alan Peterson is vastly experienced in the field of cosmetic dentistry and is an expert when it comes to crowns and bridges.
What is a crown?
A crown is essentially a cap to a tooth. It covers the entire tooth, thereby restoring its shape and size. They are usually made up of ceramic material and are used to repair cracks and fractures which can't be repaired with the help of filling or adhesives.
What are their advantages?
- They help in repairing cracked or broken teeth.
- They bring positive aesthetic changes to discolored teeth.
- They can be used to change the shape of decayed teeth.
- They help restore a tooth which has undergone root canal treatment.
- They are used to hold large fillings and fractured fillings together.
- They can change the shape of teeth which have been chipped.
Getting a crown done usually takes two visits to the dentist's office. The crown has to be fabricated in a laboratory, for which the dentist takes accurate molds of the tooth. Until the final crown is available, which would take about two weeks to be fabricated, a temporary crown will be used in place of it. The tooth which is about to receive the crown is prepared. Any decay, if present, is removed and the tooth is cleaned and reshaped to match the fit of the crown. During the second visit, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent one is placed in position.
What is a bridge?
Bridges are artificial tooth-like structures, which are used to replace missing teeth. They are usually made of metal and ceramic, coupled along with two crowns on either side. The crowns support the bridge and help them stay in place.
What are their advantages?
- They replace missing teeth.
- They restore the ability to chew food.
- They avoid slurry speech due to missing teeth.
- They avoid drifting of teeth from their position.
- They maintain the facial shape.
- They look exactly like natural teeth.
Getting a bridge done would also take no less than two visits to the dentist. During the first visit, the highly accurate mold is prepared, which would serve as a reference for the manufacture of the bridge. A temporary bridge is placed in position until the final replacement is made. As the bridge is coupled with crowns on either side, the teeth adjacent to where the bridge would be placed need to be etched. For this purpose, a layer of the enamel is removed from them. During the second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the permanent one is cemented into place. The bridge would need regular care and restorative procedures may have to be carried out when the cement wears out, which is normal.