Understanding Dental Crowns and Bridges: Indications and Applications

Dental crowns and bridges are fixed prosthetic devices used as dental restorations to repair and restore damaged or missing teeth. They are custom-made to match the colour, shape, and size of your natural teeth, providing a seamless and natural-looking result.

Dental crowns are designed to cover and encase a tooth that is severely damaged, decayed, or weakened. By completely encapsulating the visible portion of the tooth above the gum line, crowns provide enhanced strength, protection, and support. They restore the tooth’s original shape, size, and function, allowing you to bite, chew, and speak with ease. Additionally, dental crowns can improve the appearance of misshapen or severely discoloured teeth, enhancing your smile’s aesthetics.

On the other hand, dental bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. They consist of one or more artificial teeth called pontics, which are anchored to the adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. The supporting teeth, known as abutments, are typically crowned to provide stability and support for the bridge. Dental bridges restore the ability to chew and speak properly, prevent neighbouring teeth from shifting into the gap, and help maintain the alignment of your bite.

Both dental crowns and bridges are durable and long-lasting restorations. They are custom-fabricated in a dental laboratory based on impressions or digital scans of your teeth. The materials used for crowns and bridges can vary, including porcelain, metal alloys, or a combination of materials, depending on your specific needs and preferences.

Dental crowns and bridges are essential dental treatments that contribute to the overall health, function, and appearance of your teeth. By repairing damaged teeth or replacing missing ones, these restorations play a crucial role in restoring your smile’s aesthetics, supporting proper oral function, and maintaining the alignment of your teeth and bite.

What’s Involved In The Procedures For These Restorations?

Implant Tooth Support Fix Bridge Implant And Crown

  1. Dental Crowns: A dental crown, also known as a dental cap, is a tooth-shaped covering that encases a damaged or weakened tooth. It is used to restore the tooth’s strength, shape, size, and appearance. As discussed, dental crowns are commonly made of materials like porcelain, metal alloys, or a combination of both. The procedure typically involves the following steps:
    • Numbing the tooth and surrounding area with local anaesthesia.
    • Preparing the tooth by removing any decay or existing filling material.
    • Reshaping the tooth to create space for the crown.
    • Taking impressions or digital scans of the tooth to create a custom crown.
    • Placing a temporary crown while the permanent crown is being fabricated.
    • Cementing the permanent crown onto the tooth during a subsequent appointment
  2. Dental Bridges: A dental bridge is used to replace one or more missing teeth by anchoring the replacement teeth, called pontics, to the adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. The pontics bridge the gap created by the missing teeth and are typically made of the same materials as dental crowns. The procedure for placing a dental bridge involves the following steps:
    • Numbing the teeth and gums with local anaesthesia.
    • Preparing the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of their enamel to make room for the crowns.
    • Taking impressions or digital scans of the prepared teeth to create a custom bridge.
    • Placing a temporary bridge to protect the prepared teeth.
    • During a subsequent appointment, removing the temporary bridge and cementing the permanent bridge in place.

Both dental crowns and bridges are custom-made to match the colour, size, and shape of your natural teeth, providing a natural-looking and functional restoration. They can help improve the appearance of your smile, restore your ability to chew properly, maintain proper tooth alignment, and prevent further damage to weakened or missing teeth. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene practices and visit your dentist regularly to ensure the longevity and health of dental crowns and bridges.

Who Should Consider Dental Crowns And Bridges?

Patient With Mirror Gap After Tooth Extraction

Dental crowns and bridges can be beneficial for various individuals in different situations. Here are some cases where they are commonly recommended:

  1. Damaged or Decayed Teeth: Dental crowns are often used to restore teeth that are severely damaged, decayed, or weakened. If a tooth has a large cavity or fracture that cannot be adequately repaired with a filling, a crown can provide strength and protection.
  2. Root Canal Treatment: After a root canal procedure, a dental crown is typically placed over the treated tooth. This helps to strengthen and protect the tooth, which may have become brittle due to the removal of the internal pulp.
  3. Cracked or Fractured Teeth: Teeth with cracks or fractures can be susceptible to further damage or infection. Dental crowns are often used to stabilise and protect these teeth, preventing the cracks from spreading and restoring their functionality.
  4. Missing Teeth: Dental bridges are recommended for individuals with one or more missing teeth. The adjacent teeth are prepared and crowned to support the bridge, which fills the gap created by the missing teeth. Bridges help restore the ability to chew, speak, and maintain proper tooth alignment.
  5. Cosmetic Enhancement: Dental crowns can also be used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of misshapen, discoloured, or severely stained teeth. By placing crowns, the shape, size, and colour of the teeth can be enhanced, resulting in a more pleasing smile.

It’s important to note that not everyone is a suitable candidate for dental crowns and bridges. Your dentist will evaluate your oral health, dental condition, and specific needs to determine the best treatment options for you. Additionally, good oral hygiene practices and regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining the longevity and health of dental crowns and bridges.

What Is The Difference Between Dental Crowns and Bridges & Veneers?

Dentist Working With Tooth Dentures

Dental crowns, bridges, and veneers are all dental restorations used to improve the appearance and function of teeth, but they serve different purposes and have distinct characteristics. Here are the key differences between dental crowns, bridges, and veneers:

  1. Purpose:
    • Dental Crowns: Crowns are primarily used to restore and protect damaged, weakened, or decayed teeth. They provide coverage and support for the entire tooth structure.
    • Dental Bridges: Bridges are used to replace missing teeth. They consist of pontics (replacement teeth) supported by dental crowns placed on adjacent teeth or dental implants.
    • Veneers: Veneers are thin shells made of porcelain or composite resin that are bonded to the front surface of teeth. They are primarily used for cosmetic purposes to enhance the appearance of teeth by improving their colour, shape, and alignment.
  2. Coverage:
    • Dental Crowns: Crowns cover the entire visible portion of a tooth above the gum line, providing complete protection and support.
    • Dental Bridges: Bridges replace missing teeth by spanning the gap and are supported by dental crowns or implants on adjacent teeth.
    • Veneers: Veneers cover only the front surface of the teeth, primarily for aesthetic improvement.
  3. Tooth Preparation:
    • Dental Crowns: To accommodate the crown, the tooth is significantly reshaped by removing a portion of the enamel. This is necessary to ensure a proper fit and support for the crown.
    • Dental Bridges: Adjacent teeth are prepared similarly to dental crowns, as they require reshaping to allow for the placement of dental crowns that will support the bridge.
    • Veneers: Minimal tooth preparation is required for veneers. A thin layer of enamel is typically removed to create space for the veneer without significantly altering the tooth structure.
  4. Material:
    • Dental Crowns: Crowns can be made from various materials, including porcelain, metal alloys, or a combination of both, depending on the specific needs of the tooth.
    • Dental Bridges: Similar to dental crowns, bridges can be made from porcelain, metal alloys, or a combination.
    • Veneers: Veneers are usually made of porcelain or composite resin materials.
  5. Purpose and Function:
    • Dental Crowns: Crowns restore the strength, shape, size, and function of damaged or weakened teeth, providing protection and support.
    • Dental Bridges: Bridges replace missing teeth to restore chewing ability, maintain tooth alignment, and improve overall oral function.
    • Veneers: Veneers primarily focus on improving the appearance of teeth, enhancing their colour, shape, and alignment, while providing minimal functional changes.

The Importance of Trusting a Dentist’s Advice for the Right

Patient Choosing The Right Treatment

When it comes to choosing the most suitable treatment option for your dental needs, it is crucial to consult with a qualified dentist like any of our qualified team at Angel Dental Care. Dentists are highly trained professionals who possess the knowledge and expertise to evaluate your specific oral health condition and recommend the appropriate treatment plan. Here are the key factors that dentists consider when determining the best course of action:

  1. Condition of Your Teeth: Dentists will thoroughly examine the condition of your teeth, including the extent of damage, decay, or missing tooth structure. They will assess whether a tooth can be adequately restored with a dental crown or if other treatments, such as fillings or root canal therapy, may be more appropriate. Dentists will also consider the overall health of your teeth and gums before recommending a specific treatment option.
  2. Oral Health Factors: Dentists take into account your overall oral health when determining the suitable treatment option. They will evaluate the health of your gums, jawbone, and surrounding teeth. For example, if you have gum disease or insufficient jawbone density, additional treatments or preliminary procedures may be necessary before placing dental crowns or bridges. Your dentist will ensure that your oral health is stable and sufficient to support the chosen restoration.
  3. Aesthetic Goals: Your aesthetic preferences and goals are important considerations. Dentists understand that the appearance of your smile is a significant factor in your overall satisfaction and self-confidence. If you have concerns about the colour, shape, alignment, or other cosmetic aspects of your teeth, dentists can discuss whether dental crowns, bridges, or other cosmetic treatments like veneers may be more appropriate to achieve your desired smile.
  4. Long-Term Durability: Dentists consider the long-term durability and success of the treatment options. They will assess the materials used for dental crowns and bridges, taking into account factors such as strength, durability, and compatibility with your natural teeth. Dentists aim to provide restorations that can withstand the normal forces of biting and chewing while maintaining their functionality and appearance over an extended period.

By consulting with a dentist practice like Angel Dental Care, you can benefit from their expertise and personalised recommendations. They will explain the pros and cons of each treatment option, address your concerns, and tailor a treatment plan that aligns with your specific dental needs and goals. It is essential to have open communication with your dentist, as they will provide you with the information and guidance necessary to make informed decisions about your oral health.

Get in touch with our friendly team and book an appointment today!

Have More Questions?

We invite you to book in for an obligation free consultation to help guide, educate and determine which treatment is right for you. We believe in supporting our patients in the decision making process and tailor their treatment to suit each individual’s budget and lifestyle.