Dental Crowns & Bridges
Dental crown is a tooth shaped cap that is placed over tooth to restore its shape, size and function. Crowns are usually bonded to the tooth with the help of dental cement.
Dental crowns are used in several cases such as
- To protect broken tooth.
- In case of severe discoloration of tooth.
- To cover an implant.
- To hold a dental bridge in place.
- Teeth which are worn down.
- When not much tooth structure is left or teeth with large fillings.
- In RCT treated tooth, where the tooth is devitalized.
Although crowns can be given in many cases, they can’t be used in cases where entire tooth structure is destroyed.
Types of Dental Crowns
Metal crowns can be made up of gold, or base metal alloys which contain nickel or chromium. They can withstand biting and chewing forces well. However, the disadvantage is that colour of metal crowns does not blend with surrounding teeth and it may show while talking, laughing, etc.
Porcelain Fused to Metal
In this, a layer of porcelain is placed over the metal crown. Besides strength, its advantage is that it can be colour matched with adjacent teeth.
All Porcelain/Ceramic Crowns
These provide best natural colour match. They are therefore good for front teeth.
A dental bridge is a restoration used to replace the missing teeth with the support of adjacent natural teeth. It consists of false teeth and crowns for prepared natural teeth.
Need for Dental Bridges
- After loss of teeth, food tends to get accumulated in the empty space, which may lead to decay of adjacent tooth. Replacement of teeth is therefore necessary for health of remaining natural teeth.
- After loss of tooth, the adjacent tooth may drift out of position and into the edentulous space.
- Other general factors like chewing food, speech and esthetics are also compromised due to loss of teeth.
Advantages of Dental Bridges
- Since dental bridges are fixed, there is no trouble involving taking them off and placing them again like removable dentures.
- They are quick solutions to the problem of missing teeth.
- These are cosmetic solutions and blend well with adjacent natural teeth.
- Dental bridges efficiently restore the chewing function.
- They can be used to correct some bite issues as well.
Before placement of bridge, preparation of adjacent natural teeth is required, so as to make rooms for placement of crowns over them. An impression of the prepared teeth is then taken. A temporary bridge is then given. At the next visit, temporary bridge is removed and permanent bridge is then fixed in its place.
Life Span of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are known to last many years. They can have a life span of over 10 years if proper care is taken. Dental bridges need extensive measures for maintenance of oral hygiene. Regular flossing is necessary. With proper care, dental bridges provide as an efficient substitute to missing teeth.