Crowns & Bridges is the dental restoration for the tooth/teeth which are damaged, decayed or lost. Crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices used for your dental restoration. Both crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants which can be removed only by a dentist. It is not like other removable devices such as dentures, which can be taken out and clean daily by you...
To restore a damaged tooth back to its original position we use crown whereas bridge is used to replace one or more missing teeth. The restorations are cemented onto the teeth and are as referred to as fixed. We use local anesthetic for both the procedures During the preparation of the teeth, a badly decayed tooth may require "build up" with a special restorative material. With a fixed bridge, the prosthesis will span the area of a missing tooth, known as pontic, while the two or more adjacent supporting teeth are called abutments. An impression is taken of the prepared area and a temporary crown or bridge is placed.
A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
There are broadly two types of Crowns:
There are four major categories of restorations available for single tooth replacement:
In bonded dental bridges adjacent teeth to the empty space are used to help support the missing tooth. To do this, a very thin piece of metal or tooth-colored material is overlaid and bonded onto the back of the adjacent teeth. In between these two bonded pieces a tooth is placed to fill the empty space.
The main advantage of bonded dental bridges is that it is that it uses the adjacent teeth for support. So, if the tooth next to the empty space is in good condition and if it does not require any other type of restorations (fillings), bonded dental bridges may be an option.
However, the durability factor is dependent on the strength it derives from the adjacent teeth. So the condition of the adjacent teeth is very important and how hard they are fixed to the root.
Research shows that the failure rate is about 25% at five years. This means that one out of every four dental bridges will come off within five years. Generally, they can be re-bonded when they come off, but once it is re-bonded, the chance of it coming off again increases.
In this type of restoration only one tooth next to the empty space is used to support the missing tooth. In this restoration the designs can range from only using the back of the tooth (more conservative) to using a full crown to help support the missing tooth (less conservative).
This type of dental bridge has a higher success rate than bonded dental bridges. This type of design is particularly useful for replacing missing lateral incisors.
This type of restoration uses crowns on the teeth next to the empty space that are hooked together to support the missing tooth.
This type of bridge is also the treatment of choice if the two adjacent teeth need to have crowns for other reasons.
Conventional dental bridges are also one of the most predictable of all the options for replacing missing teeth. The failure rate of conventional dental bridges in the dental literature has a wide range of variation, ranging from 20% over 3 years to 3% over 23 years.
The dental implant procedure involves 2 main stages separated by a minimum of 3 months healing time:
Dental implant surgery - in this type of bridge the implants are placed into the jaw bone.
Implant restoration - the process in which a crown is built on top of the dental implants.
Both procedures are very common, and not too complicated. In some cases, depending on the patient's jaw bone anatomy, a sinus lift or a dental bone graft is needed too The goal in restoring a missing tooth is choosing the most conservative treatment that will provide you with a restoration that not only looks good but is functional and has long-term stability.