Crowns and Bridges
Crowns are synthetic caps, usually made of a material like porcelain, placed on the top of a tooth. Crowns are typically used to :
restore a tooth’s function and appearance following root canal treatment
restore decayed tooth where large portions of the tooth must be removed
prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse
replace existing filling becoming loose or dislocated
restore natural appearance of a discoloured or stained tooth for aesthetic reasons
attach bridges or cover implants
Bridges are natural-looking dental appliances that can replace a section of missing teeth. Because they are custom-made, bridges are barely noticeable and can restore the natural contour of teeth as well as the proper bite relationship between upper and lower teeth. Bridges are sometimes referred to as fixed partial dentures, because they are semi-permanent and are bonded to existing teeth or implants. Some bridges are removable and can be cleaned by the wearer; others need to be removed by a dentist.
A tooth must usually be reduced in size to accommodate a crown. A cast is made of the existing tooth and an impression is made. The impression is sent to a special lab, which manufactures a custom-designed crown. In some cases, a temporary crown is applied until the permanent crown is ready. Permanent crowns are cemented in place.
Caring For Your Crowns
With proper care, a good quality crown could last up to eight years or longer. It is very important to floss in the area of the crown to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration. Certain behaviours such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) significantly shorten the life of a crown. Moreover, eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the adhesion of the crown, or even damage the crown.