Crowns & Bridges
A crown is a type of restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or implant. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity, large filling or crack threatens the ongoing health of a tooth. They are typically bonded to the tooth using dental cement. Crowns can be made from many materials, which are usually fabricated using indirect methods. Crowns are often used to improve the strength or appearance of teeth. The most common crown is made from porcelain fused to metal which combines benefits from both materials- strength from metal and esthetics from porcelain. Crowns can also be made from porcelain, gold, zirconia or a combination of the materials.
A bridge is a type of restoration used to replace a missing tooth. The teeth adjacent to the missing tooth are capped and an artificial tooth is made to connect or “bridge” the two caps together. Bridges can be made to be very esthetic and functional.
The Crown Procedure
Generally the crown procedure requires two appointments.
During the first appointment, after anesthesia, the tooth will be precisely shaped and an impression will be taken. The impression will be sent to a dental laboratory so that a custom made crown can be made to fit your mouth. A temporary crown is made for the patient to wear between the first and second appointment.
Once the crown has been completed by the dental laboratory, the patient will return for the second appointment. At this visit, the temporary crown is removed and the new crown will be fitted and cemented. This generally is done comfortably without anesthetic.
Why Do I Need a Bridge?
A tooth bridge is a fixed tooth replacement and is used when a patient has a tooth missing. When a tooth is missing for a period of time, the teeth around the space can have a tendency to shift into the space of the missing tooth. This can eventually lead to collapse of the bite, difficulty to maintain good hygiene around the area, gum problems and esthetic issues. By placing a bridge, those problems can be avoided.
A tooth bridge involves reducing or preparing the teeth on either side of the missing tooth. The healthy teeth that sit either side of where the bridge is to be placed are shaped to allow the bridge to be fabricated and cemented permanently in place.
A tooth bridge is unlike dentures as dentures are removed whenever the patient wants. A tooth bridge is fixed and permanent and generally a patient will feel as though a bridge is like their very own tooth.
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