Crowns & Bridges
If you have a missing tooth or have lost a couple of neighbouring teeth, or you have a tooth that’s been damaged or heavily filled, you may need a restoration such as a dental crown or bridge. These can help your smile to look complete again and make sure that all of your teeth are functioning properly, so that you don’t have problems with drifting or worn down teeth further down the line.
Dental crowns and bridges fulfil different functions, but both can restore heavily damaged or missing teeth. Each of these restorations will be perfectly colour-matched against your natural teeth so that no-one will be able to see that you’ve had dental work done.
Dental crowns – sometimes known as ‘caps’ – are essentially a tooth-shaped restoration that is fitted on top of a damaged tooth. By placing a dental crown, we can help a tooth to look complete again, and restore the strength and function of the tooth, as well as protecting it from future damage.
We may recommend a dental crown if you have a broken tooth caused by trauma, decay or a large filling, or if you need a bridge. In this latter case, we would place a dental crown on the tooth on either side of the bridge to hold it in place.
As the name suggests, a dental bridge is a restoration that ‘bridges’ the gap left by one or more missing teeth. The bridge will usually have either one or several false teeth on it, and be attached to the healthy teeth on either side of the gap using dental crowns.
If you need a large filling to repair a tooth, we may recommend that you have a crown instead. This is because, in an already weakened tooth, the filling may cause further damage, whereas a crown should protect what’s left of your tooth and create more strength, so you can bite and chew with confidence.
If you have one or more missing teeth, several things can start to happen if you don’t fill the gap. Your remaining healthy teeth may start to drift and rotate without adjacent teeth to hold them in place. To cope with these changes, you may need to alter your bite, which can put unnecessary pressure on the wrong teeth, causing damage and even tooth loss. This can take you into a cycle of break, repair, break, and lose.
By having a dental bridge, you can keep your remaining natural teeth in the right position and restore the appearance of your smile without any gaps to make you feel self-conscious. It is important to know that we will need to file down the healthy teeth on either side of the bridge so we can hold it in place with dental crowns.
With crowns and bridges, even though they won’t decay, they can still attract plaque and tartar and decay can happen around the underlying teeth. It’s important to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, and to keep sugary foods to a minimum, confining them to mealtimes if possible. You may need to use a special interdental brush to clean between your gum and your bridge, but we will advise you about this so you know what to do, how and how often.
If you would prefer to explore different options to replace a missing tooth or group of teeth, you may want to consider dental implants or a partial denture. We would recommend that you come in for a consultation so that you can discuss your thoughts and preferences for your treatment with a dentist and get advice that’s relevant to you.
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