In dentistry, crown and bridge refers to the restoration of natural teeth that have been damaged, decayed or lost. Once your dentist has examined your teeth and has evaluated your dental and medical history they will be ready to provide a diagnosis and treatment options. A crown may be constructed to restore an individual damaged tooth's original form and function, while a bridge may be utilized to replace one or more teeth. These restorations are cemented onto the teeth and are referred to as "fixed" dentistry as opposed to a restoration of missing teeth with a removable appliance or partial denture.
Dental Crown and Bridges
Dental crowns, also known as "caps," preserve the functionality of damaged teeth. A dental crown may be used to protect a cracked tooth, restore functionality of a tooth with excessive decay or replace a pre-existing crown. The purpose of a dental crown is to encase a needy tooth with a custom-designed material. Dentists today have a variety of conservative treatment options through which to restore teeth. If possible, these options should be explored and discussed before selecting the full coverage crown. During the dental crown procedure, your dentist prepares the tooth and makes a molded impression of the teeth to send to a dental laboratory. A fitted, temporary crown is created during this visit to temporarily protect the tooth while the final restoration is being made in the dental laboratory. Once completed, the tooth crown is cemented or adhesively bonded at a later visit.
Dental bridges are appliances used to replace one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made out of three pieces that fit into the open space between teeth, 'bridging' the gap. Most bridges are made of a pontic tooth (or false tooth), held together by two crowns (a "cap" that covers the tooth, approximating its normal size and shape). This combination is then attached (cemented) to the abutment teeth (the surrounding teeth on each side of the gap).