What exactly is a Crown or a Bridge?
A Crown is a restorative product which is designed to cover the whole crown of the natural tooth. This is done by reducing the visible portion of a tooth by 1-2mm, then taking an impression of the tooth preparation, then the lab will produce a replica of the tooth and create a full coverage crown using metals/ porcelain or a combination. This crown is subsequently bonded onto the natural tooth. This will protect the visible portion of the tooth against fracture, further wear, decay, erosion, and hence lead to a longer life of the tooth. A crown may also be warranted for aesthetic reasons.
In the diagram on the right, picture 1 shows a tooth that has fractured off on one corner, the tooth has then been prepared by the dentist in picture 2, and the crown is then bonded on in picture 3 and 4.
A Crown may be recommended to you when your tooth is compromised for a particular reason. Some common reasons why your tooth may need a crown is:
1. When the strength of the tooth is compromised such as when there is a large filling in the tooth which can cause deflection and stresses on the remaining tooth structure as the filling expands and contracts due to biting forces.
2. After you have had root canal treatment on a tooth, which leads to dessication of the tooth and causes it to become more brittle, prone to fracture and discolouration
3. Your tooth has already fractured or cracked and you need a crown to hold it together to prevent further tooth loss
4. Aesthetically you cannot reach a desired effect with other methods
A Bridge is a treatment option when a tooth is missing, and there is a space/gap.
This gap/space can be closed with a bridge, which is when the two adjacent teeth, on either side of the gap are prepared in the same manner as a crown prep. And a restorative product is made by the lab which connects the two prepared teeth, appears as three teeth stuck together. This will close the gap to increase biting function, stop movement of adjacent teeth, provide better aesthetics and improve self confidence.