Understanding Major Dental Procedures (part 1 of 4) > Crowns & Bridges

There are many kinds of procedures as it pertains to dental work, and you are likely well aware of the majority of them. However, when you’re looking into more “invasive” and costly dental work, it is a good idea to understand what goes into your procedures.

Dental Crowns vs. Bridges – The Reasoning

Dental crowns are often put in place once you have had a root canal, and the filling required is too large to sustain biting pressure. Bridges, on the other hand, are often put in place if a dental professional has found it necessary to extract a tooth. Apart from wisdom tooth extractions, which do not require a bridge to fill in the gap.

Regardless of the reason behind your bridge or a crown, they are both considered fixed prosthetics, unlike dentures or “partials” which come in and out of the mouth for cleaning. Bridges and crowns are fixed, and are maintained the same way you would clean your natural teeth.

Crowns – The Facts

As mentioned, a crown is used to “cover up” an area that might have required a large filling. A crown is incredibly strong – usually made of either porcelain fused to metal, or gold, and can withstand vigorous chewing. In addition, they are very pleasant in appearance and shape, and are formed to fill in any gaps or discolourations you might have.

Crowns – The Breakdown

  • Used in place of large fillings when your natural tooth is unable to sustain such a filling
  • Protects against tooth breakage
  • Provides a solution for a fractured tooth
  • Created also to attach a bridge
  • Covers a dental implant, misshapen or discoloured tooth, or a tooth that underwent a root canal

Bridges – The Facts

As mentioned, a bridge is used to fill in any gaps from missing teeth. Whether that’s one tooth, or multiple teeth …it literally “bridges the gap” between teeth.

Leaving a gap can cause the other teeth to shift, and further disable your bite. In addition, it can cause gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders

A bridge is cemented onto the natural teeth surrounding the space requiring a tooth, and acts as an anchor to keep your new tooth in place.

As with a crown, a bridge is also made of either porcelain fused to metal, or gold, and creates an esthetically pleasing smile, aligning your teeth, and even allowing for a lighter shade (once your natural teeth have also been whitened to their full capacity) to create a perfect smile.

Crowns and Bridges – The Lifespan

Both crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, but on occasion they can come loose or even fall out. As with your natural teeth, good oral hygiene will further prevent this from happening.

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