Crowns & Bridges: Restoring Your Smile and Functionality

Having a beautiful smile isn’t just about looking good; our teeth play a role in how we look at ourselves and our self-esteem. Crowns, like protective caps, shield damaged or weakened teeth, enhancing their appearance and durability while ensuring normal chewing and speaking abilities. Meanwhile, bridges can help gap your missing teeth, giving you your natural look and smile to prevent any further complications.

In dental treatment, crowns and bridges are popular choices that can help achieve a confident smile. In this article, get to know more about dental treatments while you decide on what options to choose.

What are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns, or caps, are custom-made prosthetics designed to cover and protect weakened teeth. They encase the entire visible part of the tooth at the gum line, restoring its shape, size, and appearance.

Various materials are used in the fabrication of dental crowns, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Porcelain crowns, for example, are highly aesthetic and imitate the natural look of teeth, making them an excellent choice for front teeth restorations. However, they may not be as durable as metal crowns and can be prone to chipping or fracturing.

Metal crowns are incredibly strong and resilient, offering durability and longevity. They may not look like the natural colour of teeth; however, they are typically used for molars where strength and functionality are important.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns have the strength of metal with the aesthetic appeal of porcelain. They provide a natural-looking restoration with improved durability, making them right for both front and back teeth.

What are Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges are created to replace one or more missing teeth by bridging the gap. They are composed of two main components: pontics and crowns.

Pontics are artificial teeth that fill in the space left by missing teeth. They match the colour, shape, and size of natural teeth, ensuring smooth integration with the rest of the smile. Pontics not only restore the aesthetics of the smile but also prevent the teeth from shifting out of alignment.

Crowns, also known as abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. They are placed over the natural teeth adjacent to the gap or on dental implants, providing stability and support to the bridge structure. By putting the pontics in place, crowns ensure correct functionality, allowing for improved chewing and speaking abilities.

Dental bridges are more than just cosmetics; they fill the gap and help prevent any oral problems that can happen in the long run while achieving a confident smile.

When are Crowns and Bridges Needed?

Crowns may be recommended in various situations where a tooth requires reinforcement or restoration:

1. Heavily damaged or decayed tooth: When a tooth is decayed or fractured beyond repair, a crown provides strength and protection, preventing further deterioration.

2. After root canal therapy: Following root canal treatment, where the inner pulp of the tooth is removed due to infection or damage, a crown restores the tooth’s strength and protects it from fracture.

3. Large fillings: Teeth with fillings that compromise their structural integrity may benefit from crowns to reinforce and support the remaining tooth structure.

4. Cosmetic enhancement: Crowns can be used to fix the look of misshapen, discoloured, or misaligned teeth.

5. Dental implants: Crowns are commonly used to cover and restore dental implants, replacing missing teeth and completing the smile restoration process.

Bridges, on the other hand, are recommended in situations involving one or more missing teeth:

1. Single tooth replacement: When a single tooth is missing, this is used to fill in the gap by anchoring an artificial tooth (pontic) between two crowns placed on the adjacent natural teeth.

2. Multiple missing teeth: Bridges can also replace several missing teeth in a row, utilising multiple pontics supported by crowns on either end.

3. Preservation of tooth alignment: By filling in the gaps, bridges help maintain the proper placement of surrounding teeth, preventing them from moving out of place.

4. Restoring chewing and speaking ability: Bridges can fix the way you chew and speak, improving oral function and quality of life for individuals with missing teeth.

The Procedure: What to Expect

The procedure for getting a crown or bridge typically involves several steps:

1. Consultation: The process starts with a checkup with a dentist, during which the individual’s dental needs and treatment options are discussed. The dentist examines the teeth and gums, assesses the condition of the teeth, and recommends the most suitable treatment plan.

2. Impressions: Once the decision to proceed with a crown or bridge is made, impressions of the teeth are taken. These impressions serve as a mould for creating custom-fitted restorations that match the shape and size of the natural teeth.

3. Temporary restoration (if needed): In some cases, temporary crowns or bridges may be placed for protection while the permanent ones are being fabricated in a dental laboratory. These temporary restorations help maintain tooth function and aesthetics until the final ones are ready.

4. Fabrication of permanent restoration: The impressions are sent to a dental laboratory, where skilled dental technicians make the permanent crown or bridge according to the dentist’s specifications.

5. Final placement: Once the permanent restoration is ready, the individual returns to the dentist’s office for the final placement procedure. The temporary crowns or bridges, if present, are removed, and the new restorations are carefully fitted and adjusted to ensure proper bite and alignment.

6. Securing the restoration: Once the fit and aesthetics are satisfactory, the permanent crown or bridge is bonded or cemented into place. Any final adjustments may be made to ensure comfort and functionality.

Caring for Your Crowns and Bridges

Good oral hygiene is crucial for keeping the longevity and integrity of crowns and bridges. Here are some key instructions to follow:

1. Brushing and flossing regularly: Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Pay special attention to the gum line where the crown or bridge meets the natural tooth. Furthermore, floss daily to remove plaque and food debris from between the teeth and underneath the bridge.

2. Using recommended dental products: Use dental products recommended by your dentist, including toothpaste, mouthwash, and dental floss. Your dentist may suggest specific products that are suitable for cleaning around crowns and bridges and maintaining oral health.

3. Avoiding habits that can damage crowns or bridges: Avoid chewing on hard objects such as ice, pens, or popcorn kernels, as this can damage or dislodge the crowns or bridges. Additionally, refrain from biting down on foods that are excessively sticky or hard, as they can put undue stress on the restorations.

4. Scheduling regular dental checkups: Visit your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleanings. Your dentist will check the state of your crowns and bridges, assess your oral health, and address any issues before they worsen.


Crowns and bridges are highly effective dental options for fixing both the appearance and functionality of smiles. Crowns give strength and protection to damaged or decayed teeth, while bridges fill in gaps left by missing teeth, preventing other teeth from moving and maintaining alignment. These not only enhance the look of the smile but also fix chewing and speaking abilities, improving oral function.

A dentist assesses your oral health, discusses treatments, and creates a personalised plan tailored to restore your smile and optimise your oral well-being. Don’t hesitate to schedule a checkup and take the first move towards achieving a healthier, more vibrant smile.

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