Crowns and bridges are synthetic teeth that are normally made out of porcelain to provide a natural appearance while restoring functionality. Because they are usually surrounded by your natural teeth, we will choose from a wide range of shades to help ensure that their color blends perfectly with existing teeth.
Crowns may be used for a variety of reasons. They are commonly used when a tooth has substantial decay that must be removed, making it a poor candidate for fillings. The tooth may be reduced in size significantly, so a crown is needed to restore its size, appearance and functionality. Crowns are also used frequently if a tooth requires a root canal. Without a healthy nerve, the tooth can sometimes darken or change color. However, in many cases, a root canal is required due to excessive decay, a cracked or broken tooth, bone loss from an infection or a facial injury. A crown may therefore be required for more than just the sake of appearance.
Bridges are co-joined synthetic teeth that are often used to fill a gap between existing teeth. Normally, a bridge will replace one or more missing teeth. Most bridges are fixed, meaning they are not removable by the patient. Removable bridges are more commonly referred to as partial dentures. Fixed bridges are attached to the teeth on either side of the gap. These teeth need to be stable enough to provide the support that the bridge requires. It is therefore quite common for a dentist to attach crowns to the anchoring teeth to provide greater strength and stability. If one or more of the anchoring teeth are missing, an implant can make an excellent replacement. Patients with fixed bridges should make sure that they practice good dental hygiene to reduce the risk of bad breath, gum disease or damage to surrounding teeth.