We’ve all heard of crowns and bridges used being in dentistry, but have you ever wondered what they actually are? Many people don’t know what they are used for, even though they have been used in dental procedures practically since the beginning.
A bridge is a replacement tooth that’s attached to surrounding teeth permanently to replace a missing tooth. There are several kinds of bridges and they are made from different materials. Usually, a separate tooth is made and placed into the empty area. Other times, a tooth is created using a composite resin or a similar material. As the material is not the same as the natural tooth, the surrounding teeth must be reduced in size.
Bridges are typically made from porcelain that’s fused with metal or gold. Sometimes a bridge is made entirely of porcelain. Each material requires a certain amount of space, and the adjacent teeth will be reduced to accommodate the material being used.
A crown differs from a bridge as it repairs a tooth that’s still in place but has been broken, chipped, or otherwise damaged. Crowns can fix almost any broken tooth, unless there’s not enough of the tooth remaining on which to adhere the crown. Bridges are used when the tooth or teeth are missing completely, whereas a crown is applied when the tooth is still salvageable.
If you need a crown or bridge, your dentist will discuss your options and explain the procedures carefully with you. You’ll want to be comfortable and secure with any procedure he recommends, so don’t hesitate to express any concerns you have.
The dentist knows the details about your particular case and will recommend what he thinks is best for you. As with any medical procedure, you should ask any questions you have before the procedure is performed. Your dentist wants you to be comfortable with your decision as much as you do!