Crowns and Bridges
Crowns are covers or “caps” we place over teeth to restore the tooth to its normal shape, size and function. The purpose of a crown is to make the tooth stronger or improve the way it looks.Crowns are made from several types of materials. Metal alloys, ceramics, porcelain, composite resin, or combinations of these materials may be used. In the process of making a crown, the material often is colored to blend in with your natural teeth. Bridges are used to fill in the gaps left by missing teeth and are anchored in place by the natural teeth or crowns nearest the empty space. Both crowns and bridges are non-removable and must be cemented in place. Your dentist wants to create a crown or bridge that looks natural and fits comfortably in our mouth. To decide on the material for your crown, your dentist will consider the tooth location, the position of the gum tissue, the patient’s preference, the amount of tooth that shows when you smile, the color or shade of the tooth, and the function of the tooth.
Frequently Asked QUestions
Is a crown or bridge right for me?
You may need a crown or bridge if you:
- Have a cavity that is too large for a filling
- Have a missing tooth and need a bridge
- Need to cover a dental implant
- Have a tooth that is cracked, worn down or otherwise weakened.
- Have had a root canal treatment-the crown will protect the restored tooth
- Want to cover a discolored or badly shaped tooth and improve your smile.
What should I expect when I have my crown or bridge placed?
Several steps are involved, and two dental visits are generally needed to complete the treatment.
- The dentist prepares the tooth by removing its outer portion so the crown will fit. Any decay is also remove. If additional tooth structure is needed to support the crown the dentist may build up the core of the tooth.
- An impression is made to provide an exact model for the crown
- You will get a temporary crown
- The dentist or laboratory technician then uses the model to help make the crown.
- When the new crown is ready, the dentist places it in your mouth and makes the necessary adjustments. When you and your dentist are satisfied with how it looks and feels, the crown is cemented in place.
Do I need to follow any post-treatment care guidelines?
While you wait for the permanent crown to be ready- usually 2 weeks. While you have the temporary crown, this tooth may be sensitive to hot and cold. Also, avoid chewing gum or sticky foods during this time.