Crowns and fixed bridges are designed to restore the normal function and appearance of teeth when one or more teeth are cracked, broken, heavily decayed, worn or missing. Both crowns and bridges can be used to improve appearance, speech and chewing ability while preventing future problems caused by the collapse of the dental arch due to teeth drifting out of position.
A crown serves as a cap or cover over a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size and strength. Crowns are necessary when a tooth has been damaged significantly and cannot be adequately restored with a filling. A crown can be used to rebuild a fractured tooth or protect a weak tooth from becoming fractured. Crowns can cover discolored or misshapen teeth for more aesthetically pleasing smiles. A crown can be fabricated from porcelain, from gold or other precious metals, or from a combination of porcelain and metal. What material is used depends on factors such as the aesthetic needs of the patient, location of the tooth and the individual’s oral health.
A fixed bridge replaces one or more missing natural teeth with artificial teeth and literally “bridges” the gap where the missing teeth used to be. A bridge is one solid piece made up of crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap (these anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth) with a false tooth in between. Since a fixed bridge is cemented into place and firmly attached to teeth next to it, the bridge cannot be removed. Bridges restore normal facial form and dental function, preventing teeth around the missing tooth from moving or shifting while restoring chewing ability. Bridges are made from the same materials as crowns.Bridge
With proper care and maintenance, crowns and bridges can improve the appearance and function of your teeth and mouth for years to come. Thoroughly cleaning areas between, around and under the bridge and natural teeth on a regular basis is necessary to insure longevity of the restoration and prevent future dental disease.