Although they perform similar functions, crowns are covers that are placed around an affected tooth and bridges are added to replace a lost tooth, when there is no option to place a dental implant.
Crowns are used when the teeth have very large fractures or cavities or there is a high risk of billing, and they are considered as a last resort, when a shim is insufficient to recover or reinforce the damaged tooth.
The placement of a bridge, on the other hand, consists of adding crowns to the teeth that are on the sides of a missing tooth and joining them by means of a floating tooth.
There are several types of crowns that are distinguished, basically, by the materials used, and there are also several types of bridges that vary according to the techniques used for their placement.
The crown is the visible part of the tooth and is placed on a natural tooth or on an implant, in order to recover the aesthetics of the patient and restore functionality during the chewing processes.
It is used as a solution when a tooth has excess reconstruction material and little healthy tooth tissue remains; on worn, weak, broken or darkly colored teeth; when it is required to change its shape and size for aesthetic reasons or when placing an implant.
As we said before, there are different types of artificial crowns, which differ in the materials with which they have been manufactured. Among them are:
- Metal-porcelain. Made with a porcelain-coated metal interior. They are tough.
- Zirconium is a light, translucent and very resistant metal, capable of withstanding wear and tear from everyday use. They are hardly distinguishable from a natural tooth.
- Made of gold, palladium, nickel or chrome. They are long-lasting, but do not contribute to current aesthetic concepts.
- Porcelain. It is the material that provides the best combination of natural colors, but porcelain crowns are more fragile than metal-porcelain or zirconia.
- Resin. They are basically used to protect the teeth carved, in the period between taking measurements and cementing the dental crown. They are usually used provisionally.
In addition to its impact on a person’s self-esteem, the absence of a tooth allows the adjacent teeth to move to occupy the space that is free and makes oral hygiene difficult.
Among the options to replace lost teeth and thereby avoid the appearance of cavities, tartar and fractures, among other inconveniences, there are four types of dental bridges:
- Traditional: They consist of one or more arches of prosthetic teeth that are held by dental crowns (or abutments) cemented to the adjacent natural teeth. They can be placed as long as there are natural teeth on both sides of the gap left by the missing piece.
- Cantilevers: They are similar to traditional bridges, but the arch is supported by a crown placed on only one of the sides.
- Maryland: Considered a conservative alternative to traditional bridges. They consist of an arch that is secured with a structure (metal or porcelain) that is attached to the back of the two teeth adjacent to the missing piece.
- With implants: They are an option to consider when more than one tooth is missing. An implant is usually placed for each tooth to be replaced. They are a comfortable and safe solution, very close to what the original teeth are, but they have the disadvantage that the procedure can take five months or more.
Costa Rica Cero Caries is an investment fund project that promotes a population without cavities, through collaborative payments so that all people who need it can access dental treatments.