Both crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices placed on your teeth. Unlike other dental aids that are removable like dentures, which you can take out and clean as often as you want. Crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants, and are then permanently but in place in your mouth and only removed by a dentist like the dentists that work at South Anchorage Dental Center.
How do Crowns Work?
A crown is used to entirely cover or "cap" a damaged tooth to make it look good as new again. A crown can be used to improve its shape, alignment, or appearance of any tooth. The primary objective of a crown, however, is to strengthen a damaged tooth. Porcelain or ceramic crowns are matched to the color of your natural teeth with today’s new technological advances. Other materials that can be used to make a crown include metal alloys, ceramic, acrylic, and even gold. These alloys are stronger than porcelain and many times recommended for teeth in the back of your mouth. Porcelain bonded to a metal shell is also used because it is both attractive and durable.
Your dentist at South Anchorage Dental Center may recommend a crown to:
- Replace a large filling when there isn't enough tooth remaining
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Attach a bridge
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
How do Bridges Work?
A bridge may be recommended if you are unfortunately missing one or more teeth. Gaps left untreated by missing teeth will eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a severe bite which in and of itself can cause other dental issues. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Bridges, on the other hand, are most commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They span space where the teeth are missing thus forming a continuous bridge of sorts across your teeth. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the area thus resulting in the bridge. These teeth, called abutments, serve as pillars for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Your dentist at SADC in Anchorage can help you decide which to use, based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations, and cost. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.
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