Bridges and crowns are fixed prosthetic devices that are cemented onto existing teeth or implants, by a dentist or prosthodontist. Crowns are used most commonly to entirely cover or “cap” a damaged tooth or cover an implant.
A crown can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for normal oral function. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Other materials include gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic. These alloys are generally stronger than porcelain and may be recommended for back teeth. Porcelain fused to metal is often used because it is both a strong material and attractive in its appearance.
A bridge is mounted onto a space where teeth are missing and is attached onto a tooth or implant. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutment. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Your dentist can help you decide which is best for you, based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations and cost.
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