A crown is a permanent tooth-shaped cap used to cover damaged, cracked, or misshapen teeth. Crowns are made from materials ranging from porcelain to gold and are used to restore a tooth's function and appearance. On the other hand, a bridge is a dental restoration that replaces a missing tooth or several missing teeth by being attached to surrounding teeth with a "bridge," which could be one or more artificial teeth.
If your tooth is badly decayed or cracked, or if your tooth has just received a root canal treatment, you may need a dental crown to protect the remaining enamel and structure. A crown is often referred to as a tooth cap because it is placed over the existing tooth to cover it completely. Dental crowns can be made from a variety of materials, including metal alloys, porcelain fused to metal, resin, ceramic, or a combination of these materials. The dentist will be able to determine what type of crown will fit your needs best.
To prepare the tooth for a crown placement, the dentist will need to remove a portion of the existing tooth to make room for the crown to fit over the top of it. Then, an impression of the tooth will be made, and the permanent crown will be custom fabricated in a lab to fit your unique mouth perfectly. Once it is ready, it will be cemented in place over your remaining tooth structure, and you will be able to speak and chew normally again. Most patients find that their crowned teeth function just like their natural ones do. They can bite down hard without pain as the crown provides added support and stability for the tooth. Unlike fillings, which simply fill a hole, a crown restores the entire exterior of the tooth so that it looks and feels natural.
A dental bridge is a restorative procedure that replaces one or more missing teeth with artificial teeth that bridges the gap. The bridge is secured to healthy teeth beside the gap by component crowns called abutment teeth, with a false tooth or teeth called pontics between them replacing the missing tooth or teeth. Your dentist can help you decide whether a bridge is a good option for you.
A dental bridge is typically recommended as an alternative to dental implants if there are healthy teeth on either side of the gap. Gaps between teeth are ideal locations for bridges as the natural teeth provide important support and stability for the appliance. In addition, the pontics used in dental bridges can be made from a variety of materials, such as porcelain, gold, or a combination of different metals and ceramic. Porcelain is often used because it is highly aesthetic and mimics the natural appearance of your surrounding teeth.
A crown is sometimes necessary when a tooth is cracked, broken, or contains large areas of decay that fillings or dental bonding cannot repair. It may also be used to restore teeth that are treated for root canal infection and incompletely filled. In cosmetic cases, a crown may be placed to improve the shape or color of your tooth. This can be a less expensive option than porcelain veneers. Ceramic crowns are also used for implants as they match the look and feel of natural teeth.
For the replacement of missing teeth, we can place a bridge in the gap. If a patient is missing multiple teeth in a row, we can use the neighboring teeth as anchors to support a bridge. This restorative dentistry treatment also prevents the remaining teeth from shifting out of place over time.
To find out more about the dental services offered at our dental practice, call (913)-649-0310 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 5000 W. 95th Street, Suite 300, Prairie Village, KS 66207.