Dental crowns and bridges used to be reserved for the wealthy and rich, nowadays it is available to anyone that requires this procedure.
This dental procedure is justified when the tooth has undergone tooth structure loss. It could be the result of decay or trauma. Whatever the reason, a “capping” or crown is the treatment of choice for such situation. Single crowns are cap-like structures designed to create an outer coverage for clinically reduced teeth. They are used to cover teeth with existing large cavities, whereby composite fillings are not sufficed. Also, it is a treatment option for root canal treated teeth or esthetically unappealing teeth.
In case of full mouth rehabs, dental crowns serve to regain function in the stomatognathic system, also certain functional disorders are treated by splints and crowns to reposition condyles.
A dental crown serves multiple purposes. Besides strengthening the dentition that has been damaged, a crown can be used to improve its alignment, appearance, and shape. When placed on top of an implant, it provides a tooth-like shape and structure for function. Permanent crowns can be made from porcelain-fused-to-metal, stainless steel, all metal (such as gold or another alloy), all resin, or all ceramic. Stainless steel crowns are prefabricated crowns that are used on permanent teeth, primarily as a temporary measure. Nowadays, we have porcelain, or ceramic crowns that can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Of all the types of crown, the porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns (PFMs) is a popular choice. It has a metal shell to which is fused a veneer of porcelain in a high heat oven. The metal gives it a strong compression and tensile strength, and the porcelain gives the crown a white tooth-like appearance, great for front teeth restorations. So, patients end up having the best of both worlds – function, and aesthetics.
When there are 3 or more crowns linked together in a row, they are called dental bridges. Bridges are designed to replace single to short span areas of missing teeth. The tooth that they replace is referred to as the Pontic, whereas the supporting teeth beside are known as the abutment.
Both crowns are bridges often made out of metal with an outer coverage of porcelain aka Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM). With the development of dental materials, more aesthetically pleasing materials like zirconia and millable ceramics can be used for crown and bridge fabrication. A dental bridge can be a sound investment, instead of removable dentures, if comfort and aesthetics are your concern. Dental bridges can last in the mouth up to 15 years. With good oral hygiene and regular checkups, it is not uncommon for the life span of a fixed bridge to be over 10 years.
As there are a variety of situations that require a tooth to be restored with a dental crown or bridge, consult with our in-house dentist to find out the best treatment plan for you.