You’ve likely heard from somewhere about crowns, bridges, and other dental implants. Perhaps you remember having a “silver tooth” as a child, or know a friend or relative who had to have one installed. But what exactly are these, and what are the terms referring to?
Crowns, and also some bridges, are essentially fixed prosthetic devices that take the place of teeth. You can think of them like dentures in a sense, but usually they replace just one tooth and can only be removed by a dentist. The purpose of a crown is to cover up a damaged tooth. This achieves many goals, including protection of the damaged tooth from further harm, as well as strengthening its positioning or alignment in the oral cavity. Crowns tend to be made of porcelain or ceramic, and can be colour matched to your teeth. Your doctor may prescribe a crown to fill a large gap if no tooth is there, or to protect a weakened or fractured tooth. In some cases, it may also be because of a poorly shaped tooth, or one that has undergone root canal treatment.
A bridge is a way to replace missing teeth, which have been lost due to some other illness or malady. A missing tooth causes imbalances in the oral cavity that can lead to periodontal disease or disorders due to poor alignment. A bridge can be used to prevent these problems from happening by spanning the space, filling the gap where the missing tooth use to be. Your dentist can work with you to decide on the look and material that your bridge will be made out of, taking cost, look, and function all into consideration.
The whole point of a crown or bridge is to help improve one’s quality of life by either filling in for missing teeth or correcting large gaps and strengthening weakened teeth to prevent further complications. Many of these devices have some choice in terms of what material and colour you’d like it to be. Crowns and bridges, in many cases, can last a lifetime without issue, but sometimes they may require adjusting or fixing. Practicing proper oral hygiene and taking care of the prosthetic like you would any real tooth is the best way to ensure it does what it is supposed to do without any problems.
Centennial Smiles is glad to address any more questions you may have regarding crowns or bridges. Call us today at (587) 317-7959!