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What are Crowns?

Dental crowns are prosthetic dental devices that are used to restore the shape, size, strength, and appearance of a damaged or decayed tooth. They are custom-made caps that are placed over a tooth, covering the entire visible portion above the gum line.

Dental crowns can be made from various materials, including porcelain, ceramic, metal alloys, or a combination of materials. The choice of material depends on factors such as the location of the tooth, the extent of damage, aesthetic considerations, and the patient’s preference.

The process of getting a dental crown typically involves multiple visits to the dentist. During the first visit, the dentist prepares the tooth by removing a portion of its outer structure to make room for the crown. An impression of the prepared tooth and the surrounding teeth is then taken and sent to a dental laboratory, where the crown is fabricated based on the specific requirements.

While the permanent crown is being made, a temporary crown may be placed on the tooth to protect it. Once the permanent crown is ready, the patient returns to the dentist for its placement. The dentist checks the fit, shape, and color of the crown and makes any necessary adjustments before permanently cementing it onto the tooth.

Dental crowns can be used to:

1. Restore severely decayed or damaged teeth.
2. Protect weak teeth from fractures or further damage.
3. Cover teeth with large fillings when there isn’t enough tooth structure remaining.
4. Anchor dental bridges in place by covering the adjacent teeth.
5. Improve the appearance of misshapen or discolored teeth.
6. Cover dental implants to replace missing teeth.

With proper oral hygiene and regular dental care, dental crowns can last for many years, providing durability and functionality to the treated teeth.

What are Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges are a type of dental restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth. They are called bridges because they literally bridge the gap created by the missing teeth. A dental bridge consists of two or more dental crowns on either side of the gap, known as abutment teeth, with an artificial tooth or teeth in between, known as pontics.

The abutment teeth are prepared by removing a small amount of enamel to make room for the dental crowns that will be placed over them. The crowns serve as anchors for the bridge and provide stability and support. The pontic or pontics, which are artificial teeth, are custom-made to match the color, shape, and size of the natural teeth, giving the appearance of a seamless smile.

Dental bridges can be made from different materials, including porcelain, ceramic, metal alloys, or a combination of these materials. The choice of material depends on factors such as the location of the bridge in the mouth, aesthetic considerations, and the patient’s preferences.

To place a dental bridge, the dentist will take impressions of your teeth, which are then sent to a dental laboratory to fabricate the bridge. In the meantime, a temporary bridge may be placed to protect the prepared teeth. Once the final bridge is ready, it is cemented into place, restoring the appearance, function, and alignment of your teeth.

Dental bridges offer several advantages. They can improve your ability to bite and chew, restore your speech, prevent adjacent teeth from shifting, and enhance your smile and facial appearance. Additionally, bridges can help distribute the forces in your bite evenly and maintain the natural shape of your face.

It’s important to note that dental bridges require good oral hygiene practices to prevent decay and gum disease. Regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental check-ups are essential to maintain the longevity and health of your dental bridge.

Watch to see animation of how a bridge is prepared

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