There is often uncertainty on what a crown and bridge is, or if there are both even the same thing. It is generally quite simple actually. The presence of the tooth determines whether you can have a crown or a bridge. A crown fixes a damaged tooth that is still there. On the other hand, a bridge replaces missing tooth/teeth that have been knocked off or extracted.
Next, we’ll explain in detail what a crown and bridge is to give you a better idea on the treatment for your missing or damaged tooth.
Crowning a damaged tooth
A crown is a structure that is attached to your damaged tooth to cover it completely. Your damaged tooth can be liken to a king, which would soon need to wear a crown. A crown can be made of porcelain, ceramic, metal alloy or a combination of materials. Gold has even been used in the past but few appreciate such a flashy look nowadays although the mineral makes an extremely hardy crown.
Crowns are used to protect a tooth that is chipped, fractured, misshapen or broken. The crowd will strengthen and stabilize the tooth, and prevent it from being further damaged. In some instances, a dentist may also recommend a crown for a discoloured tooth, which can also be treated with a veneer.
Crowns are also used to protect a tooth that has had a large filling installed, or a tooth that has undergone a root canal. Crowns make up a component of a bridge too.
Bridging the gap of a missing tooth
A bridge consists of two crowns and false teeth to replace missing ones. A standalone crown wouldn’t work on a missing tooth because a crown is technically a cover for a tooth, so it cannot cover a tooth that isn’t there. A bridge is prepared by sandwiching a false tooth/teeth between two crowns. These crowns will then be cemented onto the teeth that are adjacent to the gap. In other words, the teeth beside the missing tooth will hold up a false tooth in its space. It is simple to imagine that the structure is indeed like a bridge, hence its name.
The crowning and bridging procedures
If necessary, your dentist will file down the damaged tooth to make it smaller, so that it can accommodate a crown to be fitted over it. Your dentist will also clean and remove any decay from the tooth surface. Then, he would make a digital impression or a mould of the tooth that requires a crown, so that a custom-made crown of a perfect fit can be made in the dental lab. Your dentist will also note the colour shade of your teeth so that the crown will look as natural as possible. The crown may take anything between a few days to a week to be ready. Meanwhile, you may be fitted with a temporary crown to protect the teeth until your permanent crown is ready.
Attaching the crown is a simple, quick and painless process. When you come in again to do the placement, the crown will be fitted until your bite is right and you are comfortable with it. Once the dentist is satisfied with the simulated position, the crown will be permanently cemented onto your damaged tooth.
The procedure for a bridge placement is similar; after all, a bridge consists of crowns. The teeth adjacent to the missing tooth gap are filed and prepared the same way like above, before a bridge that contains a false tooth is cemented onto them.
Getting crowned and bridged
Take note that these are the general scenarios when a crown or bridge is prescribed. There are also other ways to repair a damaged tooth, eg. Veneers or a root canal, or to replace missing teeth, ie. Implants. Our dentists will perform a thorough evaluation and recommend what’s best for your situation, so just pay us a visit today to be on your way to oral wellness and beauty.