Crown and Bridge Work
Dental crowns and bridges often are grouped together although they are two completely different treatments with two very different treatment indications. An easy way to remember the difference is that bridges are used to replace missing teeth while dental crowns reinforce existing teeth.
Dental crowns have a variety of indications including, but not limited to, replacement of large “fillings”, esthetic work, the restoration of dental implants and the restoration of a endodontically treated (root canal) teeth. In short, they are used to reinforce the existing tooth structure to help prevent future fracturing. In many cases they are selected when a lot of tooth structure is already missing due to previously existing, large restorations. Today, dental crowns are often made of all white or tooth colored materials so as to mimic your natural tooth color. They are often made up of a variety of different types of ceramics that, when bonded to the tooth, act to strengthen what remains of the tooth.
Dental bridges have some similarities to crowns. They are often made of the same material and they are prepared similarly in the mouth. Bridges, however, are used to replace missing teeth. Like a bridge on the road, a dental bridge consists of a floating span anchored on either side by abutment or anchor teeth (see Figure 2). When selecting a way to replace missing teeth, bridges can be a great choice although, in order to create support, a bridge will require tooth structure be removed on either side of the tooth/teeth to be replaced and this is not always ideal. When considering treatment, dental implants should first be considered due to their improved success and ease. In fact, in large areas of missing teeth, a dental bridge may even be fabricated to fit dental implants.
What about Dental Implants?
Crowns and bridges are also used to restore dental implants but instead of placing the restorations upon natural tooth structure, they are placed upon dental abutment(s) which are screwed into dental implants which have been integrated into the bone of your jaws. Please refer to our page on dental implants or contact us to learn more!