Dental Crowns & Bridges
Crowns and bridges are dental restorations used to repair or replace teeth that are damaged or missing. Both are permanently affixed by a dentist and designed to mimic the look, feel and function of natural teeth. Most modern restorations are made of porcelain, or in the case of bridges, porcelain fused to metal. When properly cared for, crowns and bridges can last for many years before needing to be replaced.
Crowns, also known as caps, are fabricated to fit over the surface of a natural tooth or artificial dental implant. Crowns are customized for each patient to take on the shape and appearance of a natural tooth. They are designed to restore function to the tooth, as well as protect it from further damage or infection. A patient may require a crown following a root canal or when a tooth breaks due to unstable fillings or a physical trauma. Some patients even choose crowns for cosmetic purposes despite having healthy, intact teeth.
A bridge is used to fill in the gap left between teeth when one or more teeth are missing. These appliances are carefully disguised to blend in with surrounding teeth using the surrounding teeth as anchors, or abutments. Crowns are placed over the two Ďanchorí teeth, supporting artificial teeth in the middle. Bridges are cemented in place to ensure many years of wear. Many patients get bridges simply to preserve their smiles. But a bridge can also help prevent surrounding teeth from shifting following an extraction or tooth loss. Furthermore, bridges require less ongoing maintenance than partial dentures, which are removable and known for feeling unnatural to some patients.
What Should I Expect When Getting a Crown or Bridge?
Crowns and bridges are usually placed over the course of multiple appointments. During the first, the teeth are prepared to be capped. Your dentist will numb each tooth receiving a crown, including those serving as abutments for a bridge. The tooth will be shaped, and an impression will be taken as a guide for making your restoration. A temporary crown will be put over your teeth until your permanent ones are finished.