Dental Crown and Bridges Treatment

Crowns and bridges are artificial replacements for teeth that are decayed, damaged or missing altogether. Unlike dentures which can be removed for cleaning, both crowns and bridges are fixed permanently in the mouth and can last for many years.

A dentist will be able to recommend which will be the best solution in any particular situation. The artificial teeth used in crowns and bridges are generally made from porcelain or ceramics and are also shaded to match as closely as possible the colour of the rest of a patient’s teeth. Often, they are so realistic that it is hard to identify a crown or bridge.


As the name suggests, a crown is attached to the top of a living tooth, or part of one. It may be needed because the tooth is cracked or otherwise damaged or to replace a large filling or dental implant. They can also be used to improve the appearance of crooked or misshapen teeth.

Sometimes gold or metal alloys are used for crowns as this makes them stronger, something that may be more important for rear molars which tend to have the most pressure exerted on them.

The fitting of crowns tends to come in two stages, In the first, the dentist will take a moulding of the tooth over which the crown is to be fitted as well as specifying which particular shade of white, or off-white, the crown should be to match the surrounding teeth.

A temporary crown will often be applied while the actual one is being made by a dental technician. When it’s been made and returned to the surgery, the dentist will use strong adhesive to attach it to the tooth.


Bridges can be fitted when one or more teeth are missing, maybe because of an accident or because they have been too damaged or decayed to save. The teeth on either side of the gap are used as supporting pillars for the bridge and are used to connect it and hold it firmly in place.

While they can be made to be removable, more often than not, bridges are permanently fixed.

The procedure for fitting a bridge also involves the dentist taking a mould of the mouth, colour matching and waiting for a dental technician to make the bridge. When it’s fitted, the dentist might also file down the surrounding teeth to make sure that it’s a snug fit.

The benefits of crowns and bridges

As well as the practical benefit of having a full set of teeth, a crown or bridge instead of a gap looks better and can give greater confidence in one’s appearance. The fact that the porcelain or ceramic material can be so closely matched to the natural tooth colour also makes them all-but-impossible to spot.

Because both are permanent fixtures in the mouth, this also makes them much easier to take care of them than removable dentures. They can be brushed, twice daily, just like natural teeth and if cared for properly can last for 15 years or more.

Crowns and Bridges FAQ

How many appointments are needed for a crown or a bridge?

Generally, two appointments are needed. The first will be to take a mould of the mouth to establish the shape of the crown or bridge needed. The second will be to fit it. These may be a couple of weeks apart to give the dental technician time to make the crown or bridge as this is a skilled process that shouldn’t be rushed.

How do veneers differ from crowns?

Veneers are thin layers of porcelain of composite that are attached just to the front of a tooth, generally to improve its appearance or the repair minor damage like a chip or a crack.

Before fitting, the dentist will remove around half a millimetre from the tooth’s surface to make room for the veneer and attach it in place with adhesive.

Can you have a combination of crowns and bridges?

Depending on your needs, there’s no reason why a combination of crowns and bridges can’t be used.

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