Bridges are dental appliances that are used to replace a section of teeth. Bridges are normally teeth that are grouped together, but in some cases, bridges may be made for patients who have natural teeth in between the teeth in the bridge. Since bridges are custom made for each person, they fit perfectly and look natural next to the natural teeth in the mouth. Bridges can restore the proper contour of the teeth, and they can also restore the correct bite relationship between the upper and lower teeth. Bridges are sometimes called fixed partial dentures because they're semi-permanent. Bridges are bonded to either natural teeth or dental implants. The options in fixed dental bridges include conventional fixed bridges, resin bonded bridges, and cantilever bridges. Bridges are usually made from gold alloys, porcelain, or combined materials.
Since bridges are semi-permanent, they can be removed only by Dr. Garcia. Bridges are cared for in much the same way that the natural teeth are cared for. Brushing and flossing every day is important, and having the bridge checked for stability on a regular basis is important as well. Most patients will have years of use from their bridge.
A crown is a synthetic tooth cap. Crowns are typically made from porcelain and can be chosen in a color that meshes well with the natural teeth around it. Crowns have several functions, both cosmetic and physical. Regarding appearance, crowns are one of the best ways to restore the appearance of a tooth that is severely discolored, misshapen, or damaged. Crowns are also highly functional, as they lend extra strength to natural teeth when they're cracked, chipped, or otherwise damaged. Crowns are often used to provide stability to the remaining natural tooth after root canal therapy. Crowns are custom made based on the patient's existing tooth. The natural tooth may need to be slightly reduced in size to accommodate the new crown comfortably. Crowns are permanently cemented in place and can't be removed except by a dentist.
If patients care for their crowns properly, they can last 8 years or even longer. Brushing and flossing daily, making sure to cover the gums around the crown, is the best way to get the longest lifespan possible from crowns.
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