If your tooth has been injured or fractured beyond the scope of what a dental filling can repair, or perhaps you struggle with missing one or more of your teeth, you may find yourself in need of a dental crown or bridge. This news may seem distressing at first, however these reliable restorations will add beauty, strength and function to your smile once again.
Bridges and crowns are fixed prosthetic devices that are cemented onto existing teeth or implants by a dentist or prosthodontist.
What is a Dental Crown?
A crown is designed to replace your entire tooth and it fits over your remaining tooth structure like a cap. Made completely of porcelain this restoration is both aesthetically appealing and durable, and it will restore your tooth, while protecting your root structure below the gum line. Your crown will function just as your natural tooth did, so you’ll be able to eat, chew, brush and floss with ease again.
What is a Dental Bridge?
Missing one or more of your teeth makes eating, smiling and talking difficult. A dental bridge uses prosthetic teeth that are attached to crowns to fill in the gaps. The crowns are the anchors that will attach to your natural teeth to support the bridge. Your bridge is custom blended to match your smile so no one will ever know you were missing teeth.
What is the difference between a crown and a bridge?
A dental crown is one unit. It can be made of a mix of porcelain fused to metal, gold, metal alloys, or all porcelain. As such, a dental bridge is a 3-unit structure. It consists of:
- One tooth to the left of the gap.
- The pontic or new tooth to fill the gap.
- One tooth to the right of the gap.
Just like there are support structures on a bridge that you drive across, there are supports in the bridge created to fill the gap resulting from a knocked-out tooth or extraction.
How do Crowns Work?
A crown is used to entirely cover or “cap” a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment.
Your dentist may recommend a crown to:
- Replace a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining.
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing.
- Restore a fractured tooth.
- Attach a bridge.
- Cover a dental implant.
- Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth.
- Cover a root canal treated tooth.
How do Bridges Work?
A bridge may be recommended if you have one or more missing teeth. Gaps caused by missing teeth eventually cause the adjacent teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. A dental bridge, sometimes called a fixed partial denture, consists of two crowns on each end and one or more false teeth in the middle called pontics.
Here are some benefits of a crown:
- Aesthetics: A crown restores the full shape and color of the tooth, making your smile impeccable
- Protection: A crown offers the best possible protection for a weak tooth
- Durability: Crowns have the longest life of dental restorations, lasting as long as 15 years or even more
Here are the benefits of a dental bridge:
- Aesthetics: It restores the appearance of a healthy smile and can also fill out the shape of the bottom part of your face
- Restoration: You’ll restore your clarity of speech and increase your ability to chew your food
- Distribution: A bridge distributes the force of your bite equally to alleviate stress on other teeth
If you think a dental crown or bridge is the right option for you, the next step is to visit us and make a consultation.
About the Doctor
Dr. Gowtham Kattamuri
Dr. Gowtham has done his BDS from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in 2006 and MDS – Conservative Dentistry & Endodontics from Dr. MGR Medical University in 2010. He is a skilled Endodontist with an experience of over 10 years. Dr. Gowtham is specialized in replacement of teeth, Dental Implants, prosthetics for maxillofacial defects such as artificial eye, ear, nose and orbital defects, Smile Makeovers with laminates, Zirconia, veneers metal free ceramics. He also performs general dental procedures such as restorations and extractions. He also is trained as an International Patient Coordinator.