A crown is a restoration that covers a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size. Its purpose is to strengthen or improve the appearance of a tooth. A crown is placed for a number of reasons:
- To support a large filling when there isn't enough tooth remaining
- To attach a bridge
- To protect weak teeth from fracturing
- To restore fractured teeth
- To cover badly-shaped or discolored teeth
- To cover a dental implant
A bridge is a restoration which replaces or spans the space where one or more teeth have been lost. There are two types of bridges – fixed and removable. Fixed bridges are bonded into place and can only be removed by a dentist. Removable bridges, while less expensive, may not be as desirable as fixed bridges and are not generally as stable.
Your appearance, dental health and the proper functioning of your mouth are all important reasons for wearing a bridge. A bridge helps maintain the natural shape of your face and may help support your lips and cheeks. The loss of a back tooth may cause your mouth to sink your face to look older.
More importantly, though, your dental health may suffer when teeth are not replaced. Teeth were designed to complement each other. When a tooth is lost, the nearby teeth may tilt toward the empty space, or the teeth in the opposite jaw may move up or down toward the space. This places unusual stress on both the teeth and tissues in your mouth.
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