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Crown and Bridge

What is a ‘Crown’?

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A dental crown is also referred as ‘tooth cap’. The dentist would fix a crown covering a decayed, discolored, cracked or badly damaged tooth to stop further deterioration and to restore the natural appearance.This is also useful in repairing heavily filled tooth, or if fillings were not successful and have been lost repeatedly. The fixed crown is tooth-shaped and with the advanced treatments today, a difference cannot be spotted with your natural and restored tooth.

How is the Dental Crown performed?

Your dentist would physically examine the tooth condition and recommend you of the options available or the best option. If you are a suitable candidate for a dental crown, the treatment requires 2-3 visits to your dentist. On the first day of the treatment, the dentist prepares the tooth so that the crown will properly fit over it. A root canal treatment may or may not be needed and that depends on the condition of the tooth. The dentist makes the impressions to prepare the crown to exactly fit into the damaged tooth or the space. He might also put a temporary crown till your crown is ready at the dental lab after few days or weeks. Crowns can be made using any type of metal, or porcelain, or by mixing both. On the next visit, the temporary one is replaced with the permanent crown and fixed strong using dental cement.

What is a ‘Bridge’?

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A dental bridge is a ceramic structure, which helps in spanning the gap resulting from a missing or extracted tooth. Usually, a ceramic tooth also referred to as a ‘pontic’ is connected in between two or more porcelain crowns situated on either side of the missing or extracted tooth which will continue serving as anchors (supporting structures).

 

These anchor teeth are created in a way which will find it easier to accommodate the crowns and thereafter a bridge is fused safely over the teeth.

A dental bridge is often useful when there are so many missing teeth and a set of crowns are fused together in order to fill a space as a result of more than one lost teeth.

How is the Dental Bridge performed?

The process is very similar to a dental crown. The dentist will take the impressions to prepare an exactly matching bridge to your teeth gaps and then the bridge made of metal or porcelain is fixed and cemented. The neighboring teeth mayalso have to be prepared to support the bridge. This is nowadays done with an advanced digital scanning technique where the exact shape and size of your mouth and teeth will be studied before making the ceramic tooth. Furthermore, this tooth is customized in a manner which ideally matches the color and shape of your existing teeth where there would be no visible changes of repair following the procedure.

Different types of Bridges

  • Traditional Dental Bridges: The Bridgeis supported using the natural teeth on both sides of the gap. This is the method which was done over years and now advanced with the introduction of various other modes of treatment.
  • Cantilever Bridges: In this method, the bridge is supported using the natural teeth on one side of the gap.
  • Maryland Bridges: Here, the bridge is held in place by a metal or porcelain framework (as in the picture), without the necessity to prepare the adjoining teeth.
  • Implant Supported Bridges: In this procedure, instead of using adjoining teeth or a framework, it is supported by dental implants.

What are the Benefits of Crowns and Bridges?

  • According to various research studies done with patients undergone this modality of treatment, crowns and Bridges are known to be extremely helpful and successful techniques to restore the damaged teeth. This assists in biting and chewing food easily and prevents speech or pronunciation difficulties, which is highly important in continuing your positive quality of life.
  • No difference can be spotted with your natural and restored teeth and you still continue to smile cute and look smart-which is vital when it comes to personal confidence and appearance both.
  • These techniques are highly cost effective and cheaper than dental implantations with minimal adverse effects.
  • Comparatively, these are painless tooth restoration methods and you do not feel any discomforts or difference post-restoration.
  • Crowns and bridges can be made using any metal or porcelain, and you have variety of choices to choose from. These will come in individualized creations, matching the natural color and shape of your existing teeth.
  • These are long-lasting, where a permanent crown or bridge last even for more than 10-20 years. Not only cost effective but all these unique features of crown and bridges will keep you less worried about your routine life style as your teeth would be the same even after the restoration.

What are the Cons of Crowns and Bridges?

  • In certain types of bridges, even your healthy adjoining teeth have to be mended to fix the bridge.
  • Depending on the material you choose, the treatment could turn to be expensive. However, the choice is yours to select the best modality of therapy depending on your budget, pros and cons which would vary depending on the severity of your condition (as suggested by the dentist)
  • These cannot be removed by your own for cleaning, unlike the removable dentures and you might need to visit your dentist in order to carry out sanity.

Are the Crowns and Bridges safe?

Crowns and bridges are made in the dental labs with great care and they do not cause any hazards to your health, thereby making the procedure completely safe.

Do the restored teeth need post-treatment care?

Dental care is absolutely essential post-treatment. Follow all the instructions given by your dentist and always keep your teeth clean. Make appointments with your dentist for a clinic and check your teeth health regularly. However, it is important to seek immediate medical advice in case you feel something uncomfortable or painful going on in your teeth, to prevent possible adverse effects, which is extremely rare.

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