CROWNS AND BRIDGES
Teeth are prone to become damaged, cracked or weakened by decay over an extended period. Dentists advise an artificial crown or a ‘cap’ to cover a damaged tooth and increase the strength and to decrease the fracture tendency. Crowns are matched to the color of your natural teeth, and hence apart from reinforcing an impaired/weakened tooth structure, these are also widely used to improve the appearance of your teeth, shape, and alignment of teeth.
Fabrication of Dental Crowns:
Dental crowns can be either be
• A complete metal crown
• A ceramic with an inner metal coping,
• A full ceramic crown.
While a full metal crown is thought to have higher strength and hence advised for load-bearing areas of the mouth such as the molar teeth, a full ceramic crown is used in the aesthetic zone, e.g., incisors to get a perfect shade match and luster. Crowns can be formed from stainless steel, ceramic, acrylic, gold and metal alloys.
Our team of dental experts at Malligai Dental Hospital in Chennai may recommend a crown to:
• Protect a fragile and weakened tooth structure from breaking, or hold together different fragments of a cracked tooth.
• Restore a damaged tooth.
• Substitute for a large filling when there is not adequate tooth structure remaining.
• To support a dental bridge
• Given as a cap over a dental implant
• To conceal a poorly shaped or severely stained tooth
• To cap a root canal treated teeth.
How long does a dental crown last?
If you can assure to maintain good oral hygiene, crowns can last for a very long period. A crown may begin to wobble or knock out if the teeth beneath the crown are severely damaged by diseases of the gum or the tooth. While a capped tooth needn’t require any special care, it is essential to keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and by flossing daily. Also, remember that regular checkups, once in 6 months and a professional full mouth cleaning are as essential to make sure you preserve optimum oral health.
How are crowns fixed?
Unlike removable prosthesis such as dentures, crowns are fixed onto existing teeth or implants using dental cement, and can only be retrieved by your dentist.
Dental bridges are also known as fixed prosthetic tooth replacement, plainly bridges the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
Parts of a dental bridge:
A typical bridge is made up of three crowns, (one on either side of the gap, capped onto natural teeth) and an artificial tooth/teeth in between. Bridges are attached to adjacent natural teeth or dental implants for support. The anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth, and essential act as pillars of support for the artificial teeth to be replaced. The artificial/false teeth which replace the missing tooth/teeth are known as pontics. Pontics can be made from ceramic, gold, porcelain, metal alloys or a combination of various materials.
Advantages of a Dental bridge
• If you have lost a tooth/teeth, bridges can help return your smile, your capacity to speak properly, chew and also maintain your facial structure.
• Bridges hold the teeth in position and prevent them from migrating elsewhere.
Disadvantages of a bridge:
• Requires an intentional sacrifice of adjacent teeth
• If the prosthesis is poorly fabricated, food accumulation can occur below the prosthesis and has to be adequately maintained.
How long do dental bridges last?
Depending on the type of bridge your dentist suggests, the fabrication of the bridge and the maintenance, the success factor is determined. On the average, dental bridges survive up till five to seven years. Maintaining good oral hygiene and undergoing a regular professional cleaning, once in 6 months, a fixed bridge can be made to last even for a decade.