A crown is a fixed prosthetic device which is cemented onto existing teeth or implants. Dental crowns are a permanent solution to damages, missing or discoloured teeth, and can only be applied and removed by a dentist.
When a tooth is heavily decayed it is more likely to fracture and lose considerable tooth substance. The greater risk is that a fracture line may go below the margin of the gum which makes restoration more difficult or near impossible. To prevent that from happening, a crown is used to entirely cover or “cap” a damaged tooth. Other than restorative purposes, a crown can be used to improve a tooth’s appearance, shape or alignment. Porcelain or ceramic crowns are commonly used with the advantage to match the colour of your natural teeth. Other materials include gold, metal alloys or acrylic. Metal alloys are generally stronger and may be recommended for back teeth.
A bridge is a fixed prosthetic which is cemented to existing teeth. Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth, and are held in place by adjacent ‘anchor’ crowns. A false tooth is held in place by being attached to a tooth next door or implants surrounding the empty gum space. Dental bridges make it easier to chew and even speak properly in some cases, maintain the shape of your face, preventing lip or face collapse following tooth extraction, distribute the forces in your bite to alleviate stress on other teeth and prevent remaining teeth from shifting out of position and into the gap.