If you are missing one or more teeth, there are plenty of reasons to correct the problem. For one thing, a large space between your teeth may affect how you speak or eat. Even if it’s not noticeable, a missing molar can affect the way you chew your food. Remaining teeth may shift and in some cases, bone loss can occur around a single missing tooth causing mal-alignment of rest of the teeth present in your mouth.. With today’s advances, you don’t have to suffer from missing teeth.
What are Dental Crowns and Tooth Bridges?
Both crowns and bridges are fixed prosthetic devices. Unlike removable devices such as dentures, which you take out and clean daily, crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants, and can only be removed by a dentist.
How do Crowns Work?
A crown is used to entirely cover or "cap" a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve appearance, shape or alignment of teeth. A crown can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the colour of your natural teeth. Porcelain bonded to a metal shell is often used because it is both strong and attractive.
We recommend a crown to:
· Replace a large filling when there isn't enough tooth remaining
· Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
· Restore a fractured tooth
· Attach a bridge
· Cover a dental implant
· Cover a discoloured or poorly shaped tooth
· After Root Canal Treatment
How do Bridges Work?
Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They span the space where the teeth are missing. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges.
How Long do Crowns and Bridges Last?
While crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, they do sometimes come loose or fall out. The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown or bridge is to practice good oral hygiene. A bridge can lose its support if the teeth or bone holding it in place are damaged by dental disease. Keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing twice a day daily. Also see your dentist and hygienist regularly for checkups and professional cleaning.