Bridges and crowns are dental devices which are used to correct damaged or broken teeth. A bridge is a ceramic structure which is fitted in place of a missing or extracted tooth. It gives the exact appearance of a tooth and also functions like one. A crown, as the name suggests, is a cap which covers a tooth. It is used when the tooth is discolored, cracked or fractured.
A bridge is used to fill the gap between teeth when a tooth is removed. They are porcelain or ceramic structures and are fused with the help of crowns on either side in order to give them stability. Sometimes, a real tooth is used as a bridge. Here are some of the advantages of getting a dental bridge:
- It fills the gap left by missing teeth.
- It avoids the shifting of teeth towards the gap.
- It avoids slurry speech.
- It prevents the chances of having a bad bite.
- It saves the embarrassment from missing teeth.
- It prevents the further loss of teeth due to weak gums.
A crown can be made up of materials such as ceramic, resin or even gold. It is mainly used to cover a tooth in order to strengthen it. A crown is used in the following cases:
- When a tooth is discolored:Discolouration of teeth is caused due to plaque or wearing. Crowns are used over a discolored tooth in order to make it look whiter. Ceramic crowns are used for this purpose.
- When there's a large amount of filling:A tooth which contains a large amount of filling tends to crack. In this case, a crown can be used to hold the tooth intact and prevent further damage.
- To prevent major cracks:When fine cracks appear on a tooth, they tend to get deeper and may result in dental fracture. This can be prevented by fixing a crown on such teeth.
- To prevent food particles from getting stuck in cracks:Food particles when stuck in dental cracks would cause decaying of the tooth. It may cause severe cavities when left unattended. A crown is used to prevent this.
- To give stability to a bridge: When a bridge is fitted, crowns are used on either side in order to give it stability and to hold it in place.
- To strengthen the teeth after root canal treatment: When a tooth is hollowed out, it is prone to cracks and fracture. Crowns are used in order to give more strength to such teeth.
Bridges and crowns most often last a lifetime. But, sometimes they tend to wear or fall out. Proper oral hygiene has to be practiced to prevent their failure. The bone and adjoining teeth holding the bridges and crowns in place have to be strong. Care should be taken to prevent cavities in the adjoining teeth. Brushing regularly and flossing would reduce such risks. Chewing hard food should also be avoided.