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What are Dental Crowns and Bridges?

In cosmetic dentistry, you may come across terms like crowns and bridges. What exactly are they? Most bridges and dental crowns are fixed artificial devices which are cemented on existing teeth/implants. These devices are not removable and they can only be dislodged by the dentist.


How does the dental crown work?

The dental crown is used to cover the entire damaged tooth. The crown can be used not only to strengthen the damaged tooth but also to improve its shape, alignment and appearance. The dentist may also place the crown on implants to boost the tooth’s structure and shape. It is also good to note that with the ceramic and porcelain crowns, the dentist can match them to the natural color of your teeth. Other materials used to make the crown include acrylic, gold, ceramic and metal alloys. Metal alloys are stronger compared to porcelain and are recommended for the back teeth that experience higher bite pressure. Porcelain that is bonded to metal shells is used because it is attractive and strong.


The dentist might recommend the use of crowns for the following reasons:

  • To protect weak teeth from breaking
  • When there is not much tooth left, crowns may be used to replace large fillings
  • To help attach a dental bridge
  • Cover or “cap” dental implants
  • Cover poorly shaped or discolored teeth
  • Cover teeth that had root canal treatment
  • Restore broken teeth
Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmetic Dentistry

How do dental bridges work?

The dental bridges are recommended in aesthetic and cosmetic dentistry when there are teeth missing. The bridge is used to cover spaces left by lost teeth. This is important especially when considering the gap left by missing teeth can cause teeth to shift or rotate thus causing bad bites and they can also pave room for gum disease as well as temporomandibular joint disorders.

The dentist will cement the bridge to the implants or natural teeth that are on either sides of the gap. These teeth are known as the abutments and they play the role of an anchor for the dental bridge. Just like with the crowns, you have an assortment of materials to choose from when picking a bridge. The selected material will depend on the location of the missing teeth, aesthetic considerations, function and cost.

How are the dental crowns and dental bridges made?

Prior to the making of the bridge, the teeth are filed to size to allow for the crown/bridge to fit comfortably. An impression is then taken. This is used to create a mold. The dental lab will use the impression to create the crown or bridge using the selected materials. While the crown/bridge is being made, a temporary crown/bridge is placed on the reduced teeth.

What is the lifespan of crowns and bridges?

Dental crowns and bridges can last for more than a decade. However, they may get loose or even fall off. Practicing good oral hygiene will increase the lifespan of the crown/bridge. You should also see your hygienist and dentist regularly for professional cleaning and checkups. You also need to avoid chewing on ice, hard foods and other objects.

Additional Articles About Aesthetic Cosmetic Dentistry
J Cave
J Cave
12:59 09 Jul 18
We moved to Barrie in 1997 and my family has been coming to Dr. Chapnick since then! We love the whole team and have never had a bad visit! I encourage everyone to come here .
Nikki Stephens
Nikki Stephens
21:37 06 Jun 18
I had such a relaxing experience for a tooth extraction. Super friendly staff. Now today is my son's first consult and he is having a great time in the play area. Highly recommended!
Kayla Lopez
Kayla Lopez
12:37 08 Jun 18
What a fantastic office, the staff are incredibly thoughtful and friendly ❤ And a big thank you to Monique, who was so patient and gentle with my kids, they're actually excited to go to the dentist if they know that shes going to be there. Highly recommend!
Cassandra Mckechnie
Cassandra Mckechnie
15:28 31 May 18
The staff here are always so friendly! I hadn’t been to a dentist in years before coming here. It’s a very stress free environment where you can relax while there.
Nadia Chalmers
Nadia Chalmers
19:04 30 Jan 18
Our daughter was 5 weeks old when she had a frenectomy done at Molson Park Dental and we couldn’t be happier with the experience and end results. The entire team was so friendly and did such a wonderful job keeping me at ease during the procedure. Also, our daughter started nursing 100 times better immediately after the procedure was done. We can’t thank you enough for allowing us to continue our breastfeeding journey pain free and allowing our daughter the ability to nurse efficiently :)
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