What is a crown?
It’s a tooth-shaped “cap” placed over a tooth to help it get back to its original strong state and health. It also helps improve its appearance. It gets cemented or bonded into place to fully encase the visible portion of the tooth. Crowns are very strong and extremely difficult to remove, even by the dentist.
Why do I need a crown?
Crowns are needed to restore a tooth that has broken down significantly to make it stronger to allow normal chewing function and aesthetics. Crowns are needed after root canal treatments or when a filling will end up replacing a lot of lost tooth structure. When a filling is very large – exceeding the amount of tooth structure left to endure normal chewing – it is more prone to chipping and breaking, being unable to carry the load as best as a crown or ceramic filling.
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Some bridges consist of crowns affixed to neighbouring teeth – one on each side of the missing tooth – that are used to hold a replacement tooth in position. Another type of bridge is anchored onto adjacent tooth using wing-like attachments. The only type of bridge that does not rely on – and wear down – neighbouring teeth is the implant-supported bridge, which is held firmly in position by strategically placed dental implants.
Crowns and bridges are usually made from gold, porcelain, metal or a combination of these materials. Modern day crowns and bridges wholly made from tooth-coloured material are increasingly popular due to greater awareness and their lifelike aesthetics. Advances in dental technology have made these prosthetic teeth appear so realistic that it is practically impossible to tell them apart from natural teeth.