A dental crown or bridge is a prosthetic used to replace or restore damaged or missing teeth. Crowns – sometimes called caps – are cemented over natural teeth or dental implants. Bridges are made up of multiple crowns that are fused together and are used to fill gaps left by missing teeth. They are retained by the natural teeth or implants nearest the gap. Both crowns and bridges are fixed in the mouth through a cementation process. Patients who choose crowns or bridges to restore their smiles achieve both the function and appearance of natural, healthy teeth. Crowns and bridges add strength and often, a more esthetic appearance to the broken or damaged tooth. They can be expected to last for many years and when properly taken care of, will often last for decades.
Did you know…
That the use of crowns as a means of restoring damaged teeth dates back to ancient times? In fact, the materials they used – ivory, gold, and bones – were the materials of choice well into the 20th century, when porcelain crowns were first developed. Today, crowns and bridges can be customized to your specific bite, tooth shape, and color. The process has also been streamlined, usually only taking two dental visits to complete. With proper care and regular dental check-ups, crowns and bridges can last many years, or even a lifetime.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a tooth that is fractured, heavily decayed, chipped, broken, or otherwise misshapen, a dental crown may be just what you need. If you have one or more missing teeth, a bridge may be the solution for you. Schedule an appointment with our office today for a consultation to determine whether you could benefit from crowns or bridges.
If a crown or bridge is right for you, we will numb the tooth and the surrounding area with a local anesthetic. An impression will then be taken of your teeth and bite, to be used in fabricating a temporary crown. If you choose a porcelain prosthesis, its color will be matched to the natural shade of your other teeth. The tooth or teeth that will support the crown or bridge will be reduced and shaped for ideal strength and esthetics of the new prosthesis. An impression of the prepared teeth will be sent to the lab, where it will be used to fabricate your custom fit crown or bridge restoration. You will leave with a temporary crown in place and be asked to return in about two weeks for delivery of your final restoration.
Your teeth will likely need time to heal following the crown and bridge process. It is common to experience some sensitivity – especially to hot and cold. Additionally, you may experience tenderness in the gums surrounding your new restorations. We recommend management with ibuprofen and salt water rinses. This mild discomfort typically subsides within a few days, but can last up to a couple of weeks.