Bridges and crowns are fixed prosthetic devices used to fill missing teeth and maintain a tooth after damage. Crowns, otherwise known as dental caps, are most commonly used to cover a damaged or blemished (stained and discoloured) tooth or an implant. Bridges are made up of two or more crowns and are commonly used to cover a space if you are missing one or more teeth by cementing them to natural teeth or implants surrounding the space where the tooth once stood.
In addition to strengthening a damaged tooth, dental bridges and crowns can be used to improve a tooth's appearance, colour, shape, alignment and dental function (bite). Gaps left by missing teeth can cause the remaining teeth to shift, which can result in a bad bite. Bridges and crowns help prevent this from happening by replacing the missing tooth.
If you have one or more missing teeth, a bridge or crown may be an option as long as you have strong, healthy teeth and good bone support. Whether or not a crown or bridge would be best suited will be for your dentist to decide. After an oral exam, Dr Sagathavan will be able to tell whether or not the tooth may be replaced with a crown or bridge.
After prepping the necessary teeth, Dr Sagathavan will take an impression of your mouth and send it to the dental technicians to create a bridge or crown to fit. In the meanwhile, a temporary crown or bridge will be placed to prevent damage to the prepared tooth. Once the prosthetic tooth has been fabricated, you will have a follow-up appointment with your dentist to have the permanent crown/bridge cemented into place.
While crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, they do sometimes come loose or fall out. The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown is to practice good oral hygiene.