Both crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices. Unlike dentures and other removable devices, dental crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants, and can only be removed by a dentist.
How Do Dental Crowns Work?
A dental crown is used to completely cover or “cap” a damaged tooth. Besides supporting a damaged tooth, a dental crown can be used to better its appearance, contour or alignment.
How Do Bridges Work?
A bridge may be recommended if you’ve lost one or more teeth. Gaps left by lost teeth ultimately cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift towards the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite.
How Are Dental Crowns and Bridges Made?
Before either a crown or a bridge can be made, the size of the tooth or teeth has to be reduced so the crown or bridge will fit over it correctly. After reducing the tooth/teeth, your dentist will take an impression to provide an exact mold for the crown or bridge. If porcelain is going to be used, your dentist will determine the correct shade for the crown or bridge to match that of your existing teeth.
Using this impression, a dental laboratory then makes your crown or bridge, in the material your dentist requires. A temporary crown or bridge will be placed over the prepared tooth while the permanent crown or bridge is being made. Once it is ready, the permanent crown or bridge is ready replaces the temporary one and is cemented over your prepared tooth or teeth.
How Long Do Dental Crowns and Bridges Last?
While Dental crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, they do come loose or fall out every now and then. To ensure the longevity of your crown or bridge, you have to maintain good oral hygiene. A bridge can lose its support if the teeth or bone holding it in position are affected by dental disease. Keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice daily and flossing every day. See your dentist and hygienist on a regular basis for examinations and professional cleanings.
To prevent your dental crown or bridge from being damaged, avoid chewing hard foods.