Crown and bridges offer a solution to missing teeth. Cost depends upon the quality of the skill of the dentist in preparing and fitting the work , the quality of the dental laboratory used and the quality of materials used to manufacture the unit.

A crown (often called a cap) is an artificial such, shaped to resemble a tooth and made from porcelain, porcelain bonded to a metal base or gold. It is used to restore a tooth which has been heavily filled over a number of years resulting in it becoming weak and/or unsightly, or a tooth that has broken down to a level that a routine filling would not be successful. Equally, crowns can be used to improve the appearance of front teeth that have become heavily worn down or damaged as a result of accident or decay. As long as there is a healthy tooth root present, most teeth can be crowned.

Bridges are a means of replacing missing teeth. They can only be used if other healthy teeth or roots are present to support them. The teeth or roots on either side of the space in the mouth act like the main supports of a suspension bridge. Bonded onto them are the artificial replacements for the missing teeth thus' bridging' the gap.
Bridges are made from either gold, or an alloy base for strength which can be overlaid with porcelain for aesthetics. There are several types of bridges, but they fall mainly into two groups - Conventional and Adhesive.

Conventional The dentist prepares the teeth on one or both sides of the gap to form posts and then an impression is taken which is scat to a laboratory. In the laboratory, crowns are made to fit these posts and then further crowns are bonded onto them which will replace the missing teeth. The bridge is then finally cemented into place. This method has great strength. However, it may require the irreversible part destruction of healthy teeth to form the posts to support the bridge, though in many eases, the supporting teeth are already heavily filled.

Adhesive This type of bridge is often called a Maryland bridge. It is glued onto the supporting teeth either side of the gap using metal wings at the back of the teeth. The advantage of this system is that the teeth supporting the bridge do not require major drilling or alteration. Very occasionally they can become unglued. but are easily fixed back into place.

Dentures remain a cost effective method of replacing missing teeth by providing the patient with a removable appliance. Dentures can provide patients with a reliable biting and chewing function and acceptable appearance. The main disadvantages with the dentures are they are sometimes difficult to tolerate and are subject to slippage during speech and normal movement of the mouth. The bone in the jaw surrounding the missing tooth or teeth continues to recede, and this can lead to a gradual collapse of the lower profile of the face.

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