What are dental crowns and bridges?
Dental crowns and bridges are both prosthetic devices that attach to your existing teeth for functional or aesthetic betterment. Crowns are a popular choice to cover (‘cap’) damaged teeth, while bridges can fill gaps of one or more missing teeth.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is a small, tooth-like cover for your existing tooth. They are a popular choice to cover damage such as chips, cracks or severe decay, and to improve appearance, strength and functionality. Crowns are also placed over teeth which have had root canal treatment, and sit upon dental implants to serve as a replacement tooth.
Porcelain or composite crowns are a popular choice for dental crowns on visible teeth. They are a subtle option, able to be colour-matched to your natural teeth. Gold alloy is an alternative option for those looking for a more durable option.
Is a dental crown necessary?
A crown may be a viable option if you:
- Have a weak tooth
Where the structure of a tooth has been compromised by decay or damage, a dentist may recommend a crown to protect against extreme sensitivity and further impairment. The crown will strengthen the tooth significantly, even if a filling has been used.
- Need anchor points for a dental bridge
To hold a dental bridge into place, two ‘anchor’ teeth will be capped with a crown to secure it.
- Need to cover a dental implant
Dental implants are metal rods which are integrated into the jaw, acting as artificial tooth roots. To cover the implant and provide a functional replacement tooth, a crown will be attached to the implant.
- Have had a root canal treatment
To strengthen and restore a tooth which has undergone root canal therapy, some patients opt to have a crown applied to the affected tooth.
- Want to improve the aesthetics of a tooth
A dental crown can be used for purely cosmetic purposes. Since dental crowns cover all exposed surfaces of the tooth, they are usually a more comprehensive option than veneers when there is significant damage.
What is a dental bridge, or ‘tooth bridge’?
A dental bridge, as the name suggests, is a ‘bridge’ between two existing teeth across an area of missing teeth. The two anchor teeth at either end are reinforced with crowns, and support the bridge of one or more false ‘abutment’ teeth which fill the gap.
How is a dental bridge applied?
Your new dental bridge will be applied in three main steps:
The initial consultation with your dentist is the first, and likely the most important step towards your new dental bridge. Your dentist will assess your oral health, and discuss with you your suitability to various dental bridge options.
Moulds must be taken of your existing teeth to create the dental bridge. The anchor teeth for the bridge must also be prepared to be capped, and will have temporary crowns until the procedure.
Once the bridge has been fabricated in a dental laboratory, it is time for your new smile to be constructed. In one quick procedure, your dental bridge will be carefully bonded onto the anchor teeth. Your dentist will ensure the placement feels, functions and looks right before applying it permanently.
Dental Crowns and Bridges at United Dental Clinic
Wait no longer for your perfect smile! Contact United Dental Clinic today to see if a dental crown or bridge is the solution for you.