What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is a cap that fits onto the prepared tooth and cemented in place. Crowns can be made from resins, metal alloys or porcelain fused to metal. Porcelain and resin crowns are made to look and feel like your natural tooth. The crowns are commonly used to cap or cover a damaged tooth or an implant.
Crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices. Crowns and bridges can’t be removed and cleaned like dentures, they’re cemented onto existing teeth or implants, and can only be removed by a dentist.
Why you need a bridge?
A missing tooth is a serious concern. Since teeth are made to work together, a missing tooth makes the adjacent teeth tilt or drift in the empty space. Teeth on the opposite jaw can also move up or down in space. This can affect your bite and put more pressure on the teeth and jaw joints, which can cause pain and damage. Tripped or drifted teeth are also more difficult to clean which puts them at an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
When a tooth is missing, the bone may shrink. If that happens, the shape of your jaw could change and it may not be compatible with the lips and cheeks. Over time, this creates a sagging face and can make you look old.
Difference Between Crowns, Bridges, and Dental Implants
Dental Crown: Crowns are used to cover or cap all or a damaged tooth. Crowns strengthen damaged teeth, as well as improve the way it looks, with a better shape and alignment. They can also be placed on top of a dental implant for it to look and function like a tooth. This fixed device prosthesis is cemented onto a tooth or implant, and can only be removed by a dentist, unlike dentures.
Dental bridge: Bridges ‘bridge’ the gap left by one or more missing teeth. They are supported by either natural teeth around the space or dental implants. Bridges fill the gap between missing teeth. The anchoring teeth are called abutments. The replacement tooth is attached to the crowns fitted on the pillars and is called a pontic.
Dental implant: The implants are made of titanium (simulating a tooth root) which are placed in the jawbone surgically under the gum line. This allows your dentist to fix replacement tooth or a bridge over the affected area. This tooth replacement is stable unlike dentures.
Types of Dental Bridges
Traditional dental bridges
Traditional bridges are the most popular type of bridge. These bridges contain one or more pontics (false teeth) and are held in place with the help of dental crowns. These dental crowns are also called abutments, that are cemented on teeth adjacent to the missing tooth.
Cantilever bridges are another alternative for replacing missing teeth. They are very similar to traditional bridges, but the pontic is supported by an abutment on just one side, rather than on both sides. So if there is only one natural tooth besides the gap, a bridge can still be secured.
Maryland bridges are considered to be a conservative alternative to traditional bridges. These contain a pontic which is held in place by a metal frame or porcelain. This framework is attached on the backs of the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. Since this type of bridge is not held in place by crowns, adjacent teeth need not be filled.
Implant-supported bridges another alternative to replace missing teeth. They can be used when you have more than one missing tooth. Instead of being supported by crows or frames, these bridges are compatible with dental implants. Generally, an implant is placed for each missing tooth, and this series of implants hold the bridge in place. However, the bridge may consist of pontic that’s suspended between two implant-supported crowns if placement of one implant for each lost tooth isn’t possible.
Cost of dental bridge?
There are many variables that can affect the price including:
- number of teeth required to fill the gap
- materials used like – composite resin, zirconia, or metal alloy covered with resin
- complexity / difficulty of placing
- Additional treatments for other dental problems such as gum disease
- geographic location
Costs also depend on the type of bridge you choose:
- Traditional or cantilever bridges typically cost $ 2,000 – $ 5,000 for each pontic and a crown of each abutment tooth.
- Maryland bridges typically cost $ 1,500 – $ 2,500 for each pontic with the frame, or wings, attached to the abutment teeth.
- An implant-supported bridge can cost anywhere between $ 5,000 – $ 15,000 for a bridge with two dental implants comprising three or four teeth.
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