Crowns are a long term treatment for replacing missing tooth structure when there is no longer sufficient tooth structure remaining to support a filling. This can be caused by caries (tooth decay), tooth fractures, lost fillings, traumatic injuries, or a combination of these and other factors.
A crown is placed on an individual tooth, somewhat like a thimble over a finger. The tooth has to first be prepared prior to the crown being fabricated to ensure there is sufficient space for the different materials from which the crowns are made.
Bridges have all the qualities and characteristics of crowns and are employed to replace missing teeth. The remaining teeth on either side of the space are prepared just like crowns and the laboratory will suspend pontics (replacements for the missing teeth) from the abutment crowns restoring these teeth. Just as with the crowns the doctor has the choice of several types of materials and combinations of materials for bridge fabrication depending on the clinical situation.
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