A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.
Dental bridges are designed to restore permanent missing teeth by bridging over the adjacent teeth with prosthetic replacement teeth. Tooth bridges are comprised of two crowns, which go on the teeth on either side of the space. In between the crowns, a natural-looking prosthetic tooth is inserted. These dental bridges are usually made from porcelain, gold, alloys, or a combination of materials.
Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth-colored) crowns are the most popular. They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they will eventually need to be replaced. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color of your teeth, giving you a natural, long-lasting, beautiful smile.
Reasons for Crowns & Bridges
- Cosmetic enhancement
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Decayed teeth
- Fractured fillings
- Large fillings
- Tooth has a root canal
What Does Getting a Crown or Bridge Involve?
A crown or bridge procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.
While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.
At your second appointment, your temporary crown or bridge will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.
You will be given post-operative instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are crowns or bridges right for me?
If you have a tooth that is damaged or decayed, but still intact, a crown may be right for you. If your tooth is missing, but its former position is surrounded by other tooth structures, a bridge may be the solution for you. Schedule an office consultation to determine whether you could benefit from crowns or bridges.
What should I expect?
You should expect to be scheduled for two appointments. The first appointment entails shaping the tooth in such a way that a crown will fit over it. When the desired shape has been achieved, a final impression will be made. This impression is then sent to a dental lab where your permanent crown will be made. Most crowns are made and returned to our office in about a week. At the end of your first appointment, a temporary crown will be made. You will wear this temporary crown until you return for your second appointment when the permanent crown is permanently cemented into place.
What type of post-treatment care is required?
It is normal to experience some cold sensitivity after you receive dental treatment. A quick “zing” with ice-cold water, pop, or ice cream is normal, and will remind you of the work you have had done.
Temporary crowns are kept in place on the tooth with temporary cement. Anything that is sticky or chewy, may pull the temporary crown off. It is advised to stay away from sticky or chewy foods until the permanent crown is cemented in place.