Crowns and Bridges are treatments which restore broken or missing teeth. If you require any restoration to your teeth your dentist will advise you which treatments are best, based on your personal requirements.
Everyone has heard of having teeth crowned or capped. Put simply a crown is a cap or cup of reinforcing material which is placed around a tooth to strengthen it and improve its appearance. Heavily-filled teeth may have a poor prognosis if the underlying tooth is very weak. Crowns provide the ideal way to both strengthen and improve the appearance of heavily filled and week teeth.
In the front of the mouth crowns are usually made of porcelain where aesthetics are extremely important; or porcelain bonded to metal.
In the back of the mouth, where strength is paramount, crowns can be made of gold, porcelain fused to metal or all porcelain. Your dentist can advise you which sort of crown is the best in your case.
Dental bridges consist of crowns attached to the teeth either side of a gap supporting a false tooth which appears indistinguishable from a normal tooth. Dental bridges are generally used where small gaps require restoration. Bridges are a reasonable alternative to dental implants where there may be insufficient bone for a dental implant or where patients do not wish to consider dental implants.
Another form of bridge called adhesive or Maryland bridges (involving adhesive techniques to attach the bridge to the adjacent teeth) avoiding the preparation of teeth either side which is necessary with conventional bridges. Please discuss with your dentist if you have missing teeth which may benefit from the use of a dental bridge.