Crowns and Bridges
Replacing missing teeth is more than a matter of maintaining a good smile. Gaps left by missing teeth can cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, which may result in problems with normal biting. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and interfere with the ability to speak and chew.
When a tooth becomes badly damaged or decayed or has been restored multiple times, the result is a tooth composed of more filling than natural tooth. A filling is no longer adequate to keep the tooth strong. The best solution for these teeth is to fit a crown (also referred to as a cap) over it. The crown can also be used to improve the appearance of misshapen or discoloured teeth.
Crowns may be fabricated from cast gold, other metals, porcelain or a combination, depending on the position, function and appearance of the tooth needing to be fixed.
Bridges are employed to replace one or more missing teeth, spanning the gap in your mouth. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants, called abutments, surrounding the empty space. A replacement tooth, or a ‘pontic,’ is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the colour of your natural teeth. Bridges are cemented over the abutment or anchor teeth and are not removable.
As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges, which is governed by considerations such as the location of the missing teeth, aesthetics, how important the missing teeth are to chewing, and cost.