The placement of crowns or dental bridges are used to completely cover one or several destroyed teeth. You can also go to this procedure to improve the appearance or alignment of one or more teeth.
The crowns could be made of ceramic, acrylic and metal alloys that tend to be more resistant and are recommended for posterior teeth. With the ceramic ones, it can be achieved that the color matches the natural teeth of the patient.
Crowns and most bridges are dental prostheses that are placed in a fixed manner and, unlike removable prostheses, which can be removed and cleaned daily, the placement of crowns or bridges consists of cementing on existing teeth or implants and only a dentist could extract them.
It is very important to maintain good oral hygiene after the placement of crowns or bridge to allow its duration for many years, because with the right care can last a lifetime.
How do dental bridges work?
When one or more teeth are missing, the free spaces between them cause that, with time, the remaining teeth rotate or move towards the empty spaces which causes an inappropriate bite. This imbalance can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
The bridges occupy the space left by one or more missing teeth. The dentist cements the bridges to the natural teeth or to the dental implants that surround the empty space. These teeth, called pillars, serve to anchor the bridge. Then, join a replacement tooth (in the missing space), this tooth is called poetic, and joins the crowns that cover the abutment teeth.
How to know if you need a dental crown or bridge?
They are necessary in the following cases:
- When you need to protect a tooth that is weakened by decay.
- When it is necessary to restore a fractured tooth or that has suffered a great wear.
- To cover pieces with severe color or shape alterations.
- To rehabilitate an implant prosthetic ally.
- When it is necessary to replace a missing piece in the event that it is not possible to perform an implant.
- When you need to replace large seals and there is not enough tooth left.
- Prevent a weakened tooth from fracturing
- To cover a tooth that has undergone a root canal treatment
Types of materials used in dental crowns and bridges
The crowns can be made entirely of ceramic or zirconium, metal, ceramic on metal or acrylic resin.
- Total ceramic or zirconium crowns: It is the most aesthetic material that exists today. It is recommended for the restoration of teeth due to color, which resembles that of natural teeth and have the advantage of allowing the passage of light through its structure, as would a natural tooth. The material can be brittle (in the case of very strong bites), but it is highly resistant to wear. The removal of a small part of the dental structure is necessary for the application of this type of crown.
- Ceramic crowns on metal: In this type of crowns the fused ceramics is attached to the external part of the metal structure, serving as a sealant and thus preventing the recurrence of caries. This type of dental crowns are strong and durable and are generally used in the posterior sectors of the mouth because the metal core being totally opaque, does not allow the passage of light as it occurs in natural teeth. It is required to remove only a moderate amount of tooth structure.
- Crowns of metal alloys: They can be made of gold alloys with copper and other metals and alloys of base metals, the gold ones being more resistant to wear and fractures.
- Acrylic resin crowns: They are used as temporary dental crowns.
Placement of crowns step by step
The first step is that the dentist must reduce the size of the tooth or teeth in order for the crown or bridge to fit properly on it.
Then, it will take a dental impression that will provide you with an exact mold for the crown or bridge.
If you are going to use ceramic, the dentist will determine the correct dye so that the color matches that of your teeth.
A technician or dental laboratory makes the crown or bridge of the material specified by the dentist and while it is done, the dentist will place a temporary one to cover the prepared tooth. When the permanent is ready, it will be cemented to the prepared tooth or teeth.