Also referred to as a ‘cap’. A crown covers the whole tooth for strength & protection. This increases the lifespan of a tooth that has been heavily filled or weakened.
Reasons to place crowns on teeth include:
• Extensively decayed or broken teeth
• Root canal treated teeth
• Cosmetic enhancement
• Teeth that are so heavily filled, that the filling is unlikely to survive a long time.
Crowns are matched to the colour and size of your own teeth and are either entirely made from reinforced porcelain, porcelain with metal inside, or a gold alloy. Your dentist will discuss which type is recommended for your particular tooth.
A bridge is a false tooth to replace a missing tooth as an alternative to an implant or denture. Bridges are made in the same way as crowns, either in porcelain with metal inside, or entirely in reinforced porcelain. It is held in place by either the next tooth adjacent to it or both teeth either side of the missing tooth.
It involves preparing the tooth/teeth beside the gap in the same way as a crown. If these teeth already have crowns or large fillings, this is not an issue, however if the adjacent teeth have small or no restorations, a compromise is the ‘Maryland bridge’. This type of minimal preparation bridge involves creating a fine ledge on the back of the adjacent tooth and bonding the porcelain bridge onto the back of the tooth to hold the false tooth in place.