A bridge is a dental appliance that is used to support the teeth in the event that one or more have been lost due to damage or decay. A bridge spans the gap by using teeth made of porcelain material. The bridge has a fitted cap on each end that fits over the existing teeth on either side of the gap. A replacement tooth or teeth fill the space in between depending on how many are missing. The bridge acts as an abutment holding the teeth on either side in place so they cannot shift towards the opening. Bridges are considered to be permanent structures and designed to resemble the teeth that are being replaced.
If a tooth is lost due to damage or decay, a gap is created that can eventually cause the rest of the teeth in the area to shift and disrupt the natural alignment of the mouth. The teeth are naturally designed to rely on one another for support and to maintain proper position. If one or more of the teeth are lost, the remaining teeth tend to gravitate toward the open space. Placing a bridge or set of dental implants with crowns will close the gap and act as a stopper for the surrounding teeth, holding them firmly in space.
In most situations, crowns are designed to be permanent. Temporary crowns may be attached to teeth depending on situations, but they will eventually be replaced with permanent crowns. A temporary crown is normally made of a lightweight resin, while permanent crowns are made of a much stronger material, like dental grade porcelain, ceramic, or gold. Crowns made of harder materials will not wear away or chip like softer resins. They are also much less likely to come loose or crack. The prognosis of how long a crown will last in the patient’s mouth is largely dependent on patient’s oral hygiene, home care, and regular dental visits.