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A crown is a type of a dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or a dental implant. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity threatens the ongoing health of a tooth, or to protect a weakened endodontically-treated tooth or for cosmetic reasons. They are typically bonded to the tooth using a dental cement.
A bridge, also known as a fixed partial denture, is a dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth or teeth, joining permanently to adjacent teeth or dental implants. A typical bridge is made of several crowns joined together.
Crowns address aesthetic needs, restore tooth function, and enhance the overall health of your mouth. In cases where teeth have large broken down fillings, a crown can protect and preserve the remaining natural tooth. To enhance your smile a metal-free, tooth colored crown can also replace an older metal/porcelain crown. Following root canal therapy, a crown is typically placed over the remaining tooth structure to preserve aesthetics and tooth function.
In cases where teeth are missing, a bridge prevents the remaining natural teeth from shifting so that dental health and facial aesthetics are not compromised. Bridges may also provide a permanent, non-removable alternative to removable partial or full dentures. Whether supported by natural teeth or implants, bridges can offer life-like aesthetics and stable chewing surfaces. The bridge can be easily maintained by brushing with modified brushing and flossing.
With both crowns and bridges, the dentist needs to shape the teeth to provide stable support and precise fit of the final restoration. Following tooth preparation, impressions are taken of the teeth, and a replica of your mouth is created for the dental laboratory to make the restoration. You and your dentist will carefully discuss the color, shape, and size of the crown(s) or bridge(s).
A temporary restoration is secured to protect the prepared teeth and maintain the precise space left by the tooth until the new restoration is fabricated. If an implant-supported crown or bridge is the best option, the dentist evaluates the patient's health and suitability for the implant placement. The dentist may also proceed with surgical planning or refer the patient to a specialist trained in implant surgery.
When the crown or bridge is fabricated, the dentist removes the patient's temporary restoration, and tries on the crown or bridge to verify fit and patient approval. Once the restoration is adjusted and approved, the dentist uses a luting cement or an adhesive bonding agent to permanently secure the final restoration.
Dental Implants are always better than a Bridge to replace missing teeth. However, not all patients are candidates to receive Dental Implant treatment. At 1 ST Dental & Orthodontics, we will discuss all options available to you and help you with selecting the best treatment that fit your needs.