Dental Bridges and Crowns
Bridges and crowns are dental restoration devices that attach onto existing teeth or implants. Bridges are usually the best option when it comes to bridging the gap between one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap -- these two or more anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth -- and a false tooth/teeth in between. These false teeth are called pontics and can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
Bridges and crowns are reliable options for restoring your teeth to their normal state.
Advantages of bridges and crowns are as follows:
- Restore aesthetics (particularly important for anterior edentulous areas)
- Restore function (mastication, speech)
- Occlusal stability (prevent tilting, drifting, rotation and over-eruption of adjacent/opposing teeth)
- Patient preference
Appropriate case selection is important when considering the provision of fixed bridgework. Patient expectations should be discussed and a thorough patient history should be obtained.
Replacement of missing teeth with fixed bridgework may not always be indicated and both patient factors alongside restorative factors should be considered before deciding if providing fixed bridgework is appropriate.
The survival rate of bridgework can be affected by the span of bridge needed, the proposed position of the bridge, and the size, shape, number and condition of planned abutment teeth.
Furthermore, any active disease including caries or periodontal disease should be treated and followed by a period of maintenance to ensure patient compliance in maintaining appropriate oral hygiene.