Crowns and Bridges are terms used to describe the prosthetic replica of a tooth (or teeth) modelled on an individual’s own mouth and then cemented in place. If you have a tooth that has been filled several times or is heavily decayed or broken, a crown could be the best option for you. If you have lost a tooth and would like to bridge the gap between the teeth on either side of your missing tooth, a bridge can do exactly that. The preparation for a crown or bridge is very similar. The tooth to be crowned (or the teeth either side of the missing tooth) is shaped to be smaller and shorter than before. This is to make room for the prosthetic tooth to fit on top. Several moulds are taken throughout this process, so that the crown or bridge will be an exact replica of your natural tooth and will fit perfectly.
Once this process is complete, a temporary crown or bridge is made and cemented until your permanent piece is ready. The moulds are sent away to a dental lab, who then create the crown or bridge out of zirconia, porcelain, metal or a combination of these materials. In around 2 weeks’ time, your permanent crown or bridge will be ready to be cemented in. Crowns and bridges offer a much more permanent solution to fillings, however new technology means that for patients with missing teeth, implant crowns are a much better solution than bridges. They are stronger and tend to last longer, and also give a more natural looking result.