What are Dental Crowns and Tooth Bridges?
Both crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices which are cemented onto existing teeth or implants, and can only be removed by a dentist.
A crown is used to entirely or partially cover (on-lay) a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. A crown can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the colour of your natural teeth and has a life like appearance. Other crown materials include gold and metal alloys, porcelain bonded to a metal shell and acrylic etc.
Your dentist may recommend a crown to:
Replace a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining
Protect a weak tooth from fracturing or has crack in it
Restore a fractured tooth
Cover a dental implant
Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
Inlays & Onlays
Inlays and onlays are tooth-coloured porcelain fillings that are used to repair cavities when the damage is too extensive for a standard dental filling. Inlays and onlays are ideal when too much tooth enamel has been lost to use a standard dental filling, and are typically used for molars.
A bridge may be recommended if you’re missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Your dentist can help you decide which to choose, based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations and cost. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.