What are crowns?
Why are crowns used?
- If your tooth has undergone significant decay or a large portion has fractured such that there is not enough tooth structure remaining to provide support
- Following root canal treatment, a crown is often needed to strengthen the tooth
- If you have discolored or badly shaped teeth, then for cosmetic reasons and to improve the esthetics of your smile you may opt for crowns
- Severe grinding can cause attrition and wear down the teeth to a point where only crowns can strengthen them
- If you have a dental implant, a crown will be fitted over the implant
- Full mouth rehabilitation may require several crowns
What are bridges?
A bridge is a dental restoration that replaces or ‘bridges’ the space where one or more teeth have been lost. Bridge can be supported in many ways:
- Through natural teeth
- Through implants
- Through a combination of natural teeth and implants
Why are bridges important?
- Missing teeth may create a lasting social, psychological and emotional turbulence. Missing teeth may affect your self-esteem and confidence and may make you feel awkward, anxious and nervous or self conscious while going out in public
- Missing teeth may affect your speech and appearance. It may cause your facial muscles to sag and give you that old worn outlook
- Missing one or more back teeth affects chewing. The biting force on the remaining teeth begins to change to compensate for the lost tooth. Consequently there is extra pressure and discomfort which may accelerate their decay and demise
- Teeth surrounding the missing tooth may start to shift and this leads to difficulty in cleaning and chewing. Over time there is plaque and tartar accumulation which causes gum disease and weaken the support of the remaining teeth
- Missing teeth may lead to collapse of the jaws. This results in gaps and spaces between the remaining teeth and undue prominence of the chin, making chewing difficult and the individual looking older
Types of crowns & bridges
In modern day dentistry, there is a wide variety of dental materials to choose from. Porcelain fused to metal crowns have a metal inner core to which porcelain or ceramic is fused. However these crowns are more susceptible to chipping or breaking off. After some time these crowns begin to show dark gum line that are not esthetically attractive. All porcelain (ceramic) or ‘metal free’ crowns are the best choice since they provide the best natural color match. They are less susceptible to chipping, don’t show dark gum lines and nowadays are stronger and durable.