Bridges

Bridges are natural-looking dental appliances that can replace a section of missing teeth. Because they are custom-made, bridges are barely noticeable and can restore the natural contour of teeth as well as the proper bite relationship between upper and lower teeth. One advantage of a  bridge is that they are cemented or bonded in place and cannot be removed by the patient. Special bridge threaders are used to cleanse under the middle section of the bridge. Bridges can also be placed over implants to restore multiple teeth.

Porcelain, gold alloys, zirconia or combinations of materials are usually used to make a bridge.

 Crowns

Crowns are synthetic caps, usually made of a material like porcelain, placed on the top of a tooth. These caps fit over the tooth like a thimble fits on your finger. 

Crowns are typically used to restore a tooth's function and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal. Crowns are often used when decay in a tooth has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed.

Crowns are also used to attach bridges, cover implants, prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse, or an existing filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislocated. Crowns also serve an aesthetic use, and are applied when a discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance. Sometimes crowns can be used instead of wearing braces to impove a smile. 

Procedures

A tooth must  first be reshaped, and then an impression is taken, which is then sent to a lab for fabrication. A temporary crown is made for the patient to wear for a few weeks. Later the crown is tried on, if it fits and the shade matches the teeth, the crown is cemented or bonded into place.

Crowns are sometimes confused with veneers, but they are quite different. Veneers are typically bonded only  to the front of the tooth to change the shape or color of the teeth. The entire tooth is not covered.

Caring For Your Crowns

It is very important to floss in the area of the crown to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the crown. Although a crown is the strongest restoration we have,certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) significantly shorten the life of a crown. Moreover, eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the adhesion of the crown, or even damage the crown.