What are Dental Crowns and Tooth Bridges?
Both crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices. Unlike removable devices such as dentures, which you can take out and clean daily, crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants, and can only be removed by a dentist.
A tooth crown or dental crown is a tooth-shaped sleeve or cap, made of porcelain or metal or a combination of both that is placed over a tooth. The dentist will match it up to the shape and colour of your other teeth. These may be recommended to cover a tooth to restore its shape and size, strength and to improve its appearance.
The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
Bridges can help to restore your smile, restore your ability to properly chew and speak, maintain the shape of your face, distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth, prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position etc.
Partial Crowns: Inlays\Onlays
A partial crown is a type of dental restoration that is usually done for teeth that don’t require a dental crown, but are too damaged for a dental filling. Partial crowns are typically referred to as inlays and onlays.
Inlays are designed to fit into your tooth like a puzzle piece. The chewing surface between the cusps of the tooth is covered by a dental inlay. Onlays are similar to inlays except that they are used if one of the cusps of the tooth needs replacing.
There are different types of materials used to manufacture dental crowns.
These are used mostly but not exclusively for restoring front teeth, and are popular in this area for their ability to blend with your natural tooth colour. The crown is made of a porcelain-based material. See E.max and Zirconia
Porcelain-fused to metal
This crown provides a stronger bond than regular porcelain because it is connected to a metal structure. It’s also extremely durable. See Porcelain Bonded Crown
This crown is a mix of gold, copper and other metals. In addition to providing a strong bond to the tooth, it doesn’t fracture, nor does it wear away the tooth itself. See Gold Restorations
Base metal alloys
This crown is made up of non-noble metals that are highly resistant to corrosion, and make for a very strong crown. It also requires the least amount of healthy tooth to be removed prior to fitting.
Although they sometimes become loose or fall out, crowns can last a lifetime if properly maintained. The best way to achieve this is through proper oral health.