Crowns and Bridges
Crowns are provided for teeth when the natural tooth is damaged to such an extent that a normal filling is no longer adequate. A crown will provide strength for a tooth that has fractured because it has been badly weakened by decay or by a previous large filling.
Bridges can be fitted where there is a space in your mouth caused by missing teeth. A bridge is fixed in your mouth and is an alternative to a denture.
Crowns are fitted over the remaining part of your tooth. Your dentist will prepare your tooth by drilling but an inner core of your tooth will still remain. An impression of your prepared tooth will be taken and also an impression of your teeth in your opposite jaw to show how your teeth bite together. The impressions are sent to the laboratory with other information to help the dental technician provide a crown that will fit and function well. A temporary crown is often needed so that you can use your tooth while you are waiting for your second appointment.
At your next visit, your dentist will check the fit and appearance of your crown and then cement it in place with a dental adhesive.
A root-filled tooth will also very often need crowning so that the tooth is strengthened. Crowns on front teeth are matched as closely as possible to the surrounding teeth and can make a great difference in improving your smile.
There are different types of crowns made of a variety of different materials. There are many factors to consider but crowns can be available on the NHS or can be provided privately.
Bridgework again involves at least two visits, one visit to prepare the teeth and take impressions and a second visit to fit the bridge. The bridge is fabricated in a dental laboratory and is usually made from precious metal and porcelain. Bridgework is only an option if the teeth, gums and bone adjacent to the gap are strong enough to support the bridge.