Crown and bridge refers to the restoration of teeth using materials that are fabricated by indirect methods which are cemented into place . A crown is used to cap or completely cover a tooth, whereas a bridge is used to span, or bridge, an edentulous area (space where teeth are missing), usually by connecting to fixed restorations on adjacent teeth. The teeth used to support the bridge are calledabutments. A bridge may also refer to a single-piece multiple unit fixed partial denture(numerous single-unit crowns either cast or fused together).
Traditionally, the teeth to be crowned are prepared by a dentist and records are given to a dental technician to fabricate the crown or bridge, which can then be inserted at another dental appointment. The main advantages of the indirect methodof tooth restoration include:
- fabrication of the restoration without the need for having the patient in the chair
- the utilization of materials that require special fabrication methods, such as casting
- the use of materials that require intense heat to be processed into a restoration, such as gold and porcelain.
The restorative materials used in indirect restorations possess superior mechanical properties than do the materials used for direct methods of tooth restoration, and thus produce a restoration of much higher quality.