A crown is a dental restoration that covers or "caps" the tooth to restore it to its normal shape, size and function. It encases the tooth and becomes the tooth's new outer surface.
A crown is used to treat teeth that have broken or decayed so much that fillings cannot fix them and for the improvement of the tooth's appearance. A crown is also used after root canal treatment to seal the tooth and prevent it from breaking.
A dental bridge is composed of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap. These two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth with the false tooth being in between. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants. Thus dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
There are many benefits of a dental bridge. They include:
- Restoring your smile and the ability to properly chew and speak
- Maintaining the shape of your face
- Distributing the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
- Preventing the remaining teeth from drifting out of position
There are a few types of dental bridges and the dentist will determine which is best for you based on your dental and personal needs. The options will be discussed with you at your visit.
Dental bridges can last 5 to 15 years and even longer. With good oral hygiene and regular checkups, it is not unusual for the life span of a fixed bridge to be over 10 years.