Bridges are natural-looking dental appliances that can replace a section of missing teeth. Because they are custom-made, bridges are barely noticeable and can restore the natural contour of teeth as well as the proper bite relationship between upper and lower teeth.
Bridges are sometimes referred to as fixed partial dentures, because they are cemented to existing teeth or implants. Unlike a removable bridge, which you can take out and clean, your dentist can only remove a fixed bridge.
Porcelain, gold alloys or combinations of materials are usually used to make bridge appliances.
Crowns are synthetic caps, usually made of a material like porcelain and metal, cemented over a tooth.
Crowns are typically used to restore a tooth's function and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal. When decay in a tooth has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed, crowns are often used to restore the tooth to help minimize the risk of fracture.
A tooth must be reduced in size to accommodate a crown. An impression is then made from the existing tooth to create a custom-designed crown. The impression is sent to a special lab, which manufactures the crown. A temporary crown is placed over the tooth until the permanent crown is ready. Permanent crowns are cemented in place.
Crowns are sometimes confused with veneers, but they are quite different. Veneers are typically applied only to relatively small area of the tooth but a crown provides full coverage.
Caring For Your Crowns
The margin of the crown where the tooth meets the crown can decay just like any other surface of a tooth. This is why it is very important to brush and floss around the crown to remove plaque and debris.
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