Crowns and bridges repair the appearance of broken, chipped or missing teeth. Unlike removable dentures, crowns and bridges are permanently affixed to the teeth, so they are easier to take care of. Crowns and bridges are made from natural-looking materials, which make them look like natural teeth.
Dental crowns are caps that fit over damaged teeth. Crowns can strengthen a damaged tooth or improve its size, shape, alignment, and overall appearance. Dental crowns made from porcelain or ceramic match the color of your front teeth. Crowns made from gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic are sturdy enough to withstand the forces of chewing, and are therefore suitable for back teeth.
As their name suggests, bridges span the gap left behind by missing teeth. Dentists cement bridges to the two remaining teeth on either side of the gap. Bridges replace missing teeth, and prevent remaining teeth from shifting out of place.
To place a crown or a bridge, a dentist must first prepare the teeth by reducing their size enough to accommodate the bridge or crown. Next, the dentist makes an impression of the prepared teeth and sends the mold to a laboratory, which custom-makes the crown or bridge. The dentist may place a temporary crown over the prepared teeth. Once the bridge or crown is available, the dentist cements the dental appliance into place.
Crowns and bridges should last a lifetime.