Crowns and bridges
Crowns and bridges are dental restorative devices which enhance the aesthetics of the dental setup. Crowns are cap-like appliances which are made from either ceramic or composites and can be made absolutely metal-free. They're used to cover a tooth and solve dental issues such as cracked, chipped, fractured and misshapen teeth, discoloration, etc. Bridges are ceramic tooth-like structures which act as a replacement for natural teeth.
What are the uses of crowns?
- Crowns can be used to restore the shape of chipped teeth.
- They are used to cover a tooth which has got a big filling.
- They hold a cracked tooth intact.
- They restore the shape of teeth which are severely worn down.
- They protect a weak tooth, i.e. which has undergone root canal treatment and prevent its failure.
- They help in holding a dental bridge in place.
- They can be used to cover an implant.
- Since they're made from porcelain, there is no chance of expansion of contraction. Whereas in the case of metal crowns, this problem exists and could damage the tooth structure.
- As they're made from porcelain, they can be made to exactly match the shade and color of the teeth, making them indistinguishable.
Procedure for installing crowns
Crowns are custom made to fit on a particular tooth of an individual. During the initial visit, the tooth which requires a crown is screened and the problem is analyzed. The tooth is then prepared by thorough cleaning and then removing a layer of enamel by buffing. This is done to accommodate the crown. Next, a highly precise mold of the tooth is taken and sent to a dental laboratory, where it serves as a reference to manufacturing the crown. Meanwhile, the patient will be given a temporary crown until the permanent one is fabricated. When the permanent crown is finished and ready to be bonded, the dentist uses a dental adhesive to bond the crown to the tooth. The crown is checked for fit and comfort and the bite is evaluated.
Though a crown is pretty strong and durable, one must take care not to damage them by chewing hard foods. Also, staining of crowns can be prevented by proper brushing and flossing.
What are the advantages of bridges?
- Bridges fill the gap which is left by a missing tooth.
- They improve the functionality of the mouth as they restore the phonetics and the ability to chew food.
- They prevent the drifting of teeth, and thereby reduce the chances of the shrinkage of the jawbone and further tooth loss.
- They enhance the aesthetics of your smile. What makes them so desirable is that they're almost indistinguishable from your natural teeth as they're made from ceramic. So you wouldn't have to feel embarrassed for having a fake tooth.
- When multiple teeth are missing, bridges will be the best replacement solution for
What is the procedure involved in installing bridges?
A bridge is a combination of a fake ceramic tooth and two crowns on either side. The crowns help in holding the bridge in place and prevent it from getting displaced in the mouth. The teeth which are adjacent to the gap are cleaned and prepared for crowns. A mold of the teeth is taken by the dentist for fabricating the bridge. The bridge is usually made up of tooth-colored ceramic and would be available within 2 to 3 weeks. During the next visit to the dentist's office, the bridge will be installed and bonded firmly in place. The fit, comfort and the bite will be checked and the bridge will be polished to perfectly match the shade of the remaining teeth.