Types of dental crowns and bridges

Types of dental crowns and bridges

Dental crowns protect damaged or weakened teeth and restore their healthy appearance.

What is a dental crown?

A crown is a laboratory fabricated ‘cap’ or ‘cover’, created to fit over an existing tooth. It replaces the whole roof of the tooth so that the underlying portion can be held together tightly enough so that nothing breaks. A dental crown can increase the strength of a weakened tooth, even to surpass that of the original, regular tooth.

What is a dental bridge?

A bridge allows the dentist to replace missing teeth, without the use of dental implants. A dental bridge is ideal for patients who have very heavily restored teeth on either sides of a missing tooth gap.
A false tooth is fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth. The two crowns that hold it in place are attached onto your teeth on each side of the missing tooth using dental adhesives

Different types of dental bridges

There are both temporary and permanent crowns, both of which can be made from a variety of different materials.

Traditional Dental Bridges

These are the most popular types of bridges, and consist of one or more pontics (fake teeth) and are held in place by dental crowns. These dental crowns are cemented onto the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. Traditional dental bridges are made of either porcelain fused to metals, or ceramics. Traditional bridges can be used when there are natural teeth present on either side of the gap from your missing tooth. Bridges are strong enough to replace molars. The only downside to traditional bridges is that your dentist will have to prepare the adjacent teeth by removing their enamel in order to make way for the crowns to be cemented in place.

Cantilever Bridges

Cantilever bridges are very similar to traditional bridges, but the pontic is only supported by a crown on only one side, rather than both sides. Like traditional bridges, your dentist will have need to prepare the adjacent tooth by removing the enamel, to support the bridge.

Maryland Bonded Bridges

Also called a resin bonded bridge, these are made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal or porcelain framework. Metal or porcelain wings are bonded to your existing teeth, often only on one side. This framework is bonded onto the backs of the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. Since this type of bridge isn’t held in place by crowns, the adjacent teeth don’t need to be filed. While Maryland bridges are considered more conservative than traditional bridges, they do have their downsides. The strength of the bridge is limited by the resin holding it in place, which may not stay in place in areas of the mouth where the teeth are subjected to a lot of biting force, such as the molars.

Implant Supported Bridges

These bridges can be used when missing more than one tooth. Instead of being supported by crowns or framework, these bridges are supported by dental implants. Typically, one implant is placed for each missing tooth, and the series of implants hold the bridge in place. As these bridges are supported by implants, they feel very secure and comfortable, just like the natural teeth they replace. The one downside to these bridges is that they require two surgeries – the first to place the implants, and the second to place the bridge – so it could take a bit longer to complete the procedure.

Benefits of dental bridges

Dental bridges not only improve the aesthetics of your smile they also have health benefits. Missing teeth can cause an array of issues including trouble speaking and eating.

Some of the benefits of dental bridges are:

  • Restore your ability to properly chew and speak
  • Restore the aesthetics of your smile
  • Maintain the shape of your face
  • Distribute the forces in your bite by properly replacing the teeth
  • Prevent remaining teeth from moving out of position

Enjoy the longevity of your crowns and bridges by brushing and flossing twice daily. Pair that with eating a balanced diet and visiting Extreme Dentistry every six months for dental check-ups and cleans.

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