Crowns and bridges are prosthetic dental appliances that are cemented on to the existing teeth or dental implants.Crowns are cap-like dental appliances that cover an entire tooth. They are used to restore the shape and size of a tooth. A bridge is a prosthetic that is used to replace a missing tooth and thereby used to close the gap between teeth.
What are the benefits of dental crowns?
They support a tooth which has been badly damaged due to tooth decay. Installing a crown would save the tooth from being extracted.
They protect a tooth which has faced damage due to wear.
A tooth would be more susceptible to failure after getting a root canal treatment. It may also face discoloration. Crowns are used to restore such teeth.
Crowns restore teeth to their natural shape and size. Teeth which are chipped can be brought back to their original shape.
They hold together a severely cracked or fractured tooth.
When a large filling has been applied to a tooth, it can be held together with the help of a crown, thereby supporting it.
Sometimes, old fillings may tend to crack. Crowns can be used to hold them intact.
What are the applications of dental bridges?
Bridges can greatly enhance a person’s appearance by replacing missing teeth.
They prevent the sagging of soft tissue in the jaws.
They can improve one's ability to bite and chew food.
Any issues related to speech and phonetics due to missing teeth can also be corrected by the use of a bridge.
They maintain the shape of a person's face.
They are a fixed and permanent solution, unlike dentures, which have to be removed often.
Getting a crown usually takes two or more visits to the dentist's office. A highly accurate mold of the tooth has to be taken in order to fabricate a crown. Any decay, if present, is removed and the tooth is cleaned and reshaped to match the fit of the crown. But the fabrication of the crown would take two to three weeks' time. A temporary crown will be used in place of the permanent one during this period. During the second visit, i.e. after the permanent crown has been made, the temporary crown will be removed and the tooth would be cleaned thoroughly. The crown will be placed on the tooth and bonded with the help of adhesives or dental cement. Finally, the bite is analyzed to prevent any misalignment of the crown.
A similar procedure is used for bridges as well. Initially, a screening process is done, where the adjacent teeth are checked for stability. The teeth are cleaned thoroughly and are prepared for installing crowns. Next, a mold will be taken, which will then be sent to the dental laboratory for fabricating the bridge. Meanwhile, a temporary bridge will be placed in position until the permanent bridge is fabricated.
After the bridge is fabricated, the temporary bridge will be removed and the permanent one will be placed in position. The crowns on either side of the bridge help support it and prevent it from getting displaced. The bite and fit are checked to make sure it feels comfortable in the mouth.
How do you take care of crowns and bridges?
Regular brushing and flossing prevent the accumulation of microbes on the surface of the teeth. They would also prevent the staining of crowns and bridges. Biting down on hard objects should be avoided as they may cause damage to the crowns and bridges. Regular visits to the dentist would help in monitoring any damage caused by the dental appliances.