By Dr Yannopulos · Published June 4, 2018

All you need to know about crowns and bridges

All you need to know about crowns and bridges preview image

Preview image for All you need to know about crowns and bridges

Many restorative dentistry procedures available today that give back a beautiful smile and confidence to people who have damaged, decayed or unattractive teeth. Crowns and Bridges are one of the most sought out procedures across the country. It doesn’t restore just the appearance, but it also helps stop further deterioration of the teeth.

They are a bit different from other dental prosthetic devices in the sense that they cannot be removed and placed back in the mouth again. They are fixed prosthetics. Skilled dentists generally carry out these procedures routinely in their clinics and one would need their help to remove them.

What are Crowns and Bridges?

Crowns are literally ‘crowns’ for teeth. They are placed as caps over teeth which are damaged, unattractive, or even decayed. Crowns are placed over the gum line and can provide additional strength to the teeth. This is an advantage that Crowns provide over veneers which only cover the front part of the teeth.

Dental Bridges also provide restorative service to the teeth – bridges consist of artificial teeth and are connected to a set of crowns. This is helpful if there are one or more missing teeth. Bridges are firmly attached to the natural teeth, this is to make sure that they do not move during chewing.

Types of Crowns and Bridges

There are different types of prosthetics available today. The classification is typically based on the materials used to make them. Depending on the materials, they also provide different advantages. There are four different types of Crowns available.

Ceramic Crowns – the ability of these crowns to blend in with the existing teeth is the highlight. They are mostly the preferred choice when it comes to front teeth.

Porcelain and Metal – the advantage of this type of crown is the strength they provide as they are fused with metal. They provide extra support to the teeth.

Alloys – there are two varieties in this. Gold Alloy – this is a fusion of metals, it does not wear away the teeth. Extra strength is the focus here. Base metal Alloy also works in a similar way – and it also requires only the least amount of teeth to be removed for fixing crowns.

Similar to Crowns, there are various choices one can make while choosing Bridges. One of the most common bridge is the traditional dental bridge – this is used when there are natural teeth present near to the missing teeth. The bridges latch on to the natural ones to stay in position. The adjacent teeth will also need preparation in this type.

Another variety that is found is the Cantilever bridges- they are very similar to the traditional ones, except they are supported only on one side. This feature is advantageous as it can be used when there are only teeth present near the gap made by missing teeth.

Maryland Bridges unlike the above two, do not need crowns to hold them in space. They are fixed to the position using metal or porcelain frame that is fixed to the back of the adjacent teeth.

Implant supported bridges –as the name suggests, they are supported by implants. For every missing tooth, one implant is placed and these will help to fix the bridges in place.

Based on one’s need and oral health, dentists will be able to suggest which type of Crowns/Bridges are suitable. Usually, Crowns require two or more consultations. This is to prepare the teeth that needs a crown. If it is chipped off – then it will need to be made into a uniform shape, this helps the crown to get a good fit. In the case of dental bridges- consultations with the dentist will be required depending on which type of bridges one decides on. Some type will need the adjacent bridges to be prepared.

Benefits of Crowns and Bridges

The following are a few reasons for you to consider crowns and bridges. They provide multiple benefits to patients suffering from damaged or missing teeth.

Gives strength and support to worn out teeth
Restorative procedures help to provide extra support to the teeth so they are able to function as before. It also stops further deterioration of the teeth.

Provide cover for discoloured teeth
You would sometimes notice teeth becoming discoloured. This is an indication that the teeth are wearing off. It also would affect self-confidence of the person if it is the front teeth. Restoring their colour and appearance is possible by this treatment.

Restoring structure of the face
Losing teeth would change the structure of the face. Muscles would sag if lost teeth are not replaced. This would also affect the speech of a person and also eating habits. By giving more support to the teeth, it will also prevent other teeth from shifting position.

Gives back the perfect smile and confidence
People get vastly affected if their speech or smile is not perfect. These procedures help to give them back the confidence of a great smile and perfect speech. Besides, these benefits, they are also valuable in dental services that require large fillings or in root canal treatment.

Caring for Crowns and Bridges
It is important that proper care and attention be given when it comes to oral health. Yes, this holds true even when prosthetic devices are placed. Following regular and cleaning habits are important for good oral hygiene.

Brushing holds the first place when it comes to oral cleaning. Regular brushing twice a day helps to clear away food debris and also prevent plaque formation in the teeth. This needs to be followed as crowns and bridges need also be cleaned and be kept free of any bacteria that can build up.

Flossing helps also in this process. Brushing sometimes does not keep away all the food debris. Simple rinsing of mouth with water helps to a great deal. Drinking water will help to wash away small food particles down the throat. Mouthwashes also help in cleaning mouth.