Crowns & Bridges
Crowns are made to cover badly damaged teeth, making the tooth look like their original shape and size. Sometimes a crown is also called a cap. A bridge is a group of three or more crowns (or false teeth) connected together to replace a section of missing teeth. With a crown, you can return to biting and chewing normally without worrying about the tooth underneath being damaged.
Crowns are made of ceramic (porcelain), metal, or a combination of both to match surrounding teeth. There are two types of bridge. A removable bridge is one that can be removed for cleaning and other purposes. A permanent bridge is either fastened to other teeth in such a way that it will not come loose, or fastened to dental implants.
Why a Bridge
Spaces in the mouth left by missing teeth can cause shifts in the remaining teeth. Unevenly spaced teeth are not only unattractive they can also cause damage to other teeth and discomfort. A bridge not only restores the appearance of your smile, it also serves as a spacer, to keep your natural teeth in their place.
An implant bridge is anchored to one or more dental implants, which are titanium anchors that are implanted into the jaw bone. This provides a very stable foundation, making the implant bridge the closest thing to a perfect replacement. These bridges typically have porcelain or ceramic crowns, to create replacement teeth that are very similar to your natural smile. Once the implants have fully integrated into the jaw, implant bridges are nearly undetectable to the patient as well.
A removable bridge is a cost effective appliance that attaches to teeth on either side of the area it fills. Removable bridges can be taken out to clean, and are often left out to sleep. This type of bridge can provide an excellent replacement for natural teeth when it is fitted properly.
Removable bridges are not as rugged as an implant and other permanent bridges. They may need to be refitted from time to time. With proper care, a removable bridge will last many years.