What To Know About Crowns, Caps and Bridges

What To Know About Crowns, Caps and Bridges Featured Image - Maria Cielo Adjemian, DDS, PhD

Caps, crowns, and bridges. We hear these terms but for most of us, these remain largely a mystery. After all, just what are these, how do they function and what are they made out of or how are they made? If you ask the average person, you’ll probably not get much clarity. Although the majority could tell you what braces are, the same just can’t be said for caps, crowns, and bridges. So, let’s take a quick look at bridges, caps, and crowns.

About Crowns, Caps, and Bridges

Let’s begin with a misconception — there’s a real difference between caps and crowns. But, this just isn’t true. Crowns and caps are actually the same thing. (It’s just two different names for the same thing.) Whether called caps or crowns, they provide the same function — to cover over or to cap over — a damaged tooth. Although caps and crowns covered damaged teeth, they do more than provide aesthetics. In reality, crowns and caps make teeth stronger. Plus, provide better alignment and shape, as well.

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth — to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance.

The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. — WebMD.com

Now, as for bridges. These are called so because that’s precisely what bridges do for teeth. Therefore, bridges bridge any gaps occurring between teeth. Bridges are used to prevent gaps from causing problems — particularly in adults. You see, when there’s a gap between teeth, it results in poor biting ability and it promotes harmful conditions such as temporomandibular joint or TMJ. (There are other problems which result from gaps between teeth, including poor oral health and more.)

How are Crowns, Caps, and Bridges Made?

Dentists used molds to form crowns, caps, and bridges, alike. This is done by taking a dental impression from your teeth to ensure a good fit. Usually, the dentist will have you undergo a procedure to reduce your teeth. (This makes the mold much more accurate.)

After the prosthetic is made, it’s fit into place and then held there by dental cement. In most cases, these are made from porcelain or metal. And, your dentist will use a material that’s best for your particular situation.

How Long Do Crowns, Caps, and Bridges Last?

Generally, all are made to last for the rest of your life. But, there’s no assurance of this. Although, most patients have little to no trouble. Most will in fact, last a lifetime.

However, it’s very important to note, just because teeth are fitted with caps, crowns, or bridges, this doesn’t permanently fix the problem. More specifically, these do not guarantee relief from any other issues. In other words, just because someone is fitted with any of these dental prosthetics does not mean he or she gets a pass on practicing good oral care and hygiene.

This means brushing your teeth at least twice per day, using fluoride, and flossing once per day, too. You must continue these practices because these can be damaged, come loose, or even fall out. Which means it’s still highly advisable to stay away from hard foods, such as ice and candy. Plus, you still need to see your dentist twice a year.

So, there’s a little bit you need to know about caps, crowns, and bridges.

Kansas City residents know and love diversity. As your Gladstone Dentist, we appreciate that no two patients–no two people are completely alike and their health care needs are also unique. Those needs are always changing and evolving, much as you are.

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