Bridges and Crowns

 Crowns

A dental crown is like a cap that covers a tooth that may be heavily filled, or is structurally not sound. A crown is often used to cover a tooth that has been treated with root canal therapy and where the tooth structure is compromised. Crowns can be either tooth coloured or gold and your dentist will be able to discuss which type of crown is best for you.

Gold is usually used on the back teeth, as it has several advantages over porcelain teeth. Gold is strong in thin section and less tooth needs to be drilled away before taking the impression and fitting the crown.

Porcelain is usually always used for the front teeth but may be used for the back teeth. This material can be made to appear very natural though several factors affect this and are outlined below;

Some porcelain crowns have metal inside which gives strength and support to the porcelain. This acts as a barrier for light and gives the crown a dull colour. On posterior teeth this won’t be noticed but in the front of the mouth it can occasionally be a problem as the tooth looks duller than the natural teeth.

Bridges

A bridge allows the dentist to replace lost teeth without the use of a denture or dental implant. The gap is ‘bridged’ by making use of the neighbouring teeth to provide support for the missing tooth/teeth.

Where the neighbouring teeth have large fillings already present, crowning these will impart extra strength on them. However if these teeth have small or no restoration present, it is a pity to interfere with them by placing a crown on them. One compromise is the ‘Adhesive’ bridge. This type of bridge when suitable is more conservative on the tooth tissue.

Where a bridge is not recommended, the placement of a dental implant may be suitable. An implant involves the placement of a titanium post into the bone. When the bone ‘integrates’ or grows and adheres to this post, it can then be used to support a crown in place of the missing tooth.