Metal-ceramic crowns and bridges in dental prosthetics are used for their strength and durability. They meet both the aesthetic and functional desires, and are financially the most affordable solution.
Metal-ceramic crowns are made from a combination of metal and ceramic. The core of the crown is made of metal, providing strength and resistance to pressure, and the ceramics coat the metal core for aesthetic purposes. In their entirety, the crowns are fully aesthetic due to their careful ceramic layering during crown construction that most accurately mimics the appearance of natural teeth. Due to their good aesthetic properties, these crowns are made for both front and rear teeth. Since metal-ceramic crowns need to be slightly thicker than metal crowns, more extensive grinding of the teeth is necessary for the procedure. Metal-ceramic restorations suffer great physical stress, but patients who suffer from bruxism (clenching and grinding of teeth) are at an increased risk of damaging and fracturing their ceramics.
A bridge is a dental restoration composed of at least two dental crowns. Tooth loss leads to changes in the bone structure in regard to it’s reduction in size, as well as changes to the teeth surrounding the missing tooth region. Teeth have a tendency to tilt and shift towards the toothless area, as do the bones surrounding the area have a tendency to decay. Therefore, these teeth become sensitive and susceptible to decay, which leads to their instability, and in some cases, to their loss and serious damage to the oral health, facial shape, beauty of the smile and chewing ability of the patient. When a patient is missing one or more teeth, a bridge is used to stabilize bite and prevent shift and tilting of the adjacent teeth into the toothless area. It also insures the preservation of the vertical dimensions on the face of the patient (maintaining the proportions between the jaw and nose, and preventing the development of wrinkles at the corners of the mouth). Unlike dentures, bridges are cemented and cannot be removed from the mouth. Missing teeth are compensated by laboratory-fabricated crowns that are attached to at least two dental crowns which were cemented to previously prepared teeth. Bridges are used as compensation for a small number of lost teeth, and the prerequisite is the existence of stable and healthy teeth for their fixation or dental implants which serve as bearers. Factors that must be met are the satisfactory condition of gums, bones, and good oral hygiene.