Crowns & Bridges are dental restoration for a single tooth or multiple teeth which are damaged, decayed or lost.
Crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices used for your dental restoration and may be temporary or permanent.
Both crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants which can be removed only by a dentist. It is not like other removable devices such as dentures, which can be taken out and clean daily by you.
To restore a damaged tooth back to its original form, we use crowns whereas bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth.
During the preparation of the teeth, a badly decayed tooth may require “build up” with a special restorative material. With a fixed bridge, the prosthesis will span the area of a missing tooth, known as pontic, while the two or more adjacent supporting teeth are called abutments.
An impression is taken of the prepared area and a temporary crown or bridge is placed.
We use advanced equipment and modern techniques that help us easily remove the damaged tooth cover and replace the tooth with a cemented cap.
A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
- To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) to prevent it from breaking or in order to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To cover a dental implant
- To cover mis-shaped or severely discolored teeth
- To functionally strengthen teeth which have been treated for root canals
- For gap closures between teeth
The process of obtaining a dental bridge is as follows:
- The first step is to prepare the abutment teeth. In this process teeth are recontoured by removing a portion of enamel and dentin to allow room for a crown to be placed over them.
- Then impressions of teeth are made. With these impressions a model is made from which the bridge, pontic, and crowns will be developed in a dental laboratory. Your dentist will supply you with a temporary bridge for you to wear to protect the exposed teeth while your bridge is being made.
- During the next visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the new permanent bridge will be fitted after through check and proper adjustment
- Number of visits may be required to check the fit of the metal framework and bite depending on case-to-case basis. If the dental bridge is a fixed (permanent) bridge, your dentist may temporarily cement it in place for a couple of weeks to make sure that fits properly. After a couple of weeks, the bridge will be permanently cemented into place.
Types of bridges:
Bonded (Maryland) Bridge
In bonded dental bridges adjacent teeth to the empty space are used to help support the missing tooth. To do this, a very thin piece of metal or tooth-colored material is overlaid and bonded onto the back of the adjacent teeth. In between these two bonded pieces a tooth is placed to fill the empty space.
The main advantage of bonded dental bridges is that it is that it uses the adjacent teeth for support. So, if the tooth next to the empty space is in good condition and if it does not require any other type of restorations (fillings), bonded dental bridges may be an option.
However, the durability factor is dependent on the strength it derives from the adjacent teeth. So the condition of the adjacent teeth is very important and how hard they are fixed to the root.
Research shows that the failure rate is about 25% at five years. This means that one out of every four dental bridges will come off within five years. Generally, they can be re-bonded when they come off, but once it is re-bonded, the chance of it coming off again increases.
In this type of restoration only one tooth next to the empty space is used to support the missing tooth. In this restoration the designs can range from only using the back of the tooth (more conservative) to using a full crown to help support the missing tooth (less conservative).
This type of design is particularly useful for replacing missing lateral incisors.
Dental implant surgery – in this type of bridge the implants are placed into the jaw bone.
Implant restoration – the process in which a crown is built on top of the dental implants.
Both procedures are very common, and not too complicated. In some cases, depending on the patient’s jaw bone anatomy, a sinus lift or a dental bone graft is needed too The goal in restoring a missing tooth is choosing the most conservative treatment that will provide you with a restoration that not only looks good but is functional and has long-term stability.