Used mostly in restorative dental procedures, porcelain crowns and bridges play a key role in keeping your mouth functioning properly after a tooth is lost or removed. Unlike removable devices like dentures, crowns and bridges are cemented place—but they are not permanent like dental implants. Crowns and bridges are typically used to fix an existing dental issue, but they can also be used to prevent future issues.
Crowns are most often used to help strengthen a tooth when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to hold the filling in place. Crowns are also used to protect weak teeth from breaking, cover dental implants, and restore an already broken tooth. Your dentist may also recommend dental crowns as a way to hide teeth that are discolored or misshaped. Today crowns are typically made from porcelain, ceramic or some type of resin—though they can also be made from gold alloy or nickel.
Also known as a fixed partial denture, dental bridges are used to literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A typical dental bridge is comprised of one or more artificial teeth that are held in place by two dental crowns. When you lose a tooth, the bridges attached to surrounding teeth for support and fill in the void with artificial teeth. Dental bridges, while temporary, help keep smiles functioning normally after a tooth is lost or removed.