Fixing tooth damage can sometimes go beyond filling a cavity. Often times, the amount of damage calls for something more substantial, like a crown or a bridge. Even if you’ve had either of these put into your mouth, you may not know what a crown or a bridge actually is.
Crowns and bridges are both fixed prosthetic devices. This means they can only be removed by a dentist. A crown is used to repair a decayed tooth, while a bridge is used to fill in an area that is missing a tooth but is near existing teeth.
What is a Crown?
A dentist will recommend a crown to protect a weak tooth from fracturing, restore a fractured tooth, cover a dental implant, or to cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth. To place a crown, your tooth will first be prepped. Once you are numb, your dentist will file down your tooth until all of the decay has been removed. Then, your dentist will “build up” the tooth with filling material, to fill in all the places where the decay was. Then, you’ll have a temporary crown placed. It’s held with temporary cement that comes with a few dental restrictions that you’ll need to follow until you get your permanent crown placed. A few weeks later, you’ll have a second visit to fit the permanent crown.
What is a Bridge?
A bridge is placed when you are missing one or more teeth. When there are missing teeth, gaps cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, which results in a bad bite. Also, your chances of developing gum disease and joint disorders are considerably higher when teeth are missing. Dental bridges can help restore your smile, restore the ability to properly chew and speak, maintain the shape of your face, distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth, and prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position. A bridge is made up of two crowns on either side and a false tooth in the middle. The process of having a bridge placed is similar to the process of the crown placement since a bridge has crowns on either side of it, which holds it in place.
Still confused? Leave us a comment or give us a call. We’ll be happy to take a look at your teeth and explain it in detail.