Crown and Bridge
Artificial crowns are used to cover damaged teeth and are often the best way to save a tooth and strengthen it. They fit over the prepared existing teeth and replace the natural crown. Unlike dentures, both crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices.
Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. A crown can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function.
Different materials are used to make crowns. The choice depends on the functional and aesthetic needs of each patient and situation. Stronger, all ceramic crowns have become available over recent years, which are used where aesthetics are important.
We may recommend a crown to:
- Replace a large filling when there isn't enough tooth remaining
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Attach a bridge
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a discoloured or poorly shaped tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
A bridge replaces one or more missing teeth. It consists of an artificial tooth anchored to the adjacent natural teeth. If a tooth is lost through an accident or is too badly decayed to save with a crown, a bridge may be the treatment of choice. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
How long do crowns and bridges last?
While crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, they do sometimes come loose or fall out. The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown or bridge is to practise good oral hygiene. A bridge can lose its support if the teeth or bone holding it in place are damaged by dental disease. Keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing daily. Also see the dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings. To further prevent damage to your new crown or bridge, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects.