Crowns & Bridges
What are dental crowns?
Crowns are synthetic caps, usually made of a material like porcelain, placed on the top of a tooth. They are typically used to restore a tooth’s function and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal. When decay in a tooth has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed, crowns are often used to restore the tooth.
How do crowns work?
A dental crown looks like the portion of the tooth you see when you observe your smile. However, this fixture is not solid. This is so that the crown can fit over a natural tooth once that tooth has been relieved of any diseased tissue or injured material. With a crown affixed over the chewing surface, the damaged tooth regains durability and a healthy appearance.
What are the Different types of dental crowns?
Dental crowns can be made from a variety of materials. Early crowns were fabricated from high-noble gold. Still today, gold crowns are an excellent option for optimal strength and longevity. A non-noble alloy is also an option, made of base metals such as copper and tin that resist corrosion. Finally, ceramics such as porcelain and zirconia are commonly used to fabricate dental crowns. Which crown is right for you depends on several factors. Your dentist can discuss options that will best suit your needs and preferences at the time of treatment.
Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?
Dental Crowns have many benefits and necessities for both restorative and aesthetic purposes. The reasons why one could benefit from a dental crown include the following:
- Crowns are able to attach bridges
- Cover dental implants
- Prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse
- Used if an existing filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislocated
- Discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance
Do dental crowns hurt?
The dental crown treatment process is conducted with a local anesthetic that numbs the area around the tooth. This allows the dentist to reduce the tooth without the vibration of the dental drill causing unnecessary discomfort. After the tooth has been prepared in the first visit, a temporary crown is placed over the tooth to keep it comfortable. For the first few days after treatment, slight sensitivity or soreness may occur. During the second visit, the temporary crown is removed and the final crown is evaluated, modified if necessary, and bonded over the tooth. This step usually does not require numbing medication and does not cause sensitivity or soreness to recur.
benefits of dental crown
Dental crowns cover teeth that have been damaged by injury or disease. Therefore, there are a number of benefits to this restorative treatment, including:
- Relief uncomfortable symptoms such as tooth pain or sensitivity
- Enhance the appearance of a tooth, teeth, or the entire smile
- Long lasting beauty and function
- Custom made to support your smile aesthetic and chewing ability
how does the Dental Crown Procedure work?
A tooth must usually be reduced in size to accommodate a crown. A cast is made of the existing tooth and an impression is made. The impression is sent to a special lab, which manufactures a custom-designed crown. In some cases, a temporary crown is applied until the permanent crown is ready. Permanent crowns are cemented in place.
Crowns are sometimes confused with veneers, but they are quite different. Veneers are typically applied only to relatively small areas.
Porcelain Crown before and after Photo
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a restorative fixture that literally bridges the gap between two teeth. When a tooth is lost, a bridge may be installed to fill the empty space and prevent unnecessary wear and tear on surrounding teeth.
How do dental bridges work?
The standard fixed-bridge design includes two crowns and an artificial tooth. The crowns are in place at the edges of the bridge and will be fitted over natural teeth on each side of the gap to anchor the artificial tooth in place. This tooth in the middle, called a pontic, sits on top of the gums and gains its stabilization from the adjacent teeth.
Why do I need a bridge?
You may need a dental bridge if you have lost a tooth or need a tooth extracted due to injury or disease. The purpose of the bridge is to restore the appearance and the functionality of your smile. A full set of teeth is vital to chewing and speaking ability. If the space left by a missing tooth is not filled with an artificial tooth, surrounding anatomy may shift. Loosening of the gums around surrounding teeth increases the risk of gum disease and decay. A bridge can significantly decrease these risks.
How is a bridge attached?
A traditional fixed bridge is attached to teeth that are adjacent to the gap in the arch. The attachment occurs through two dental crowns, one bonded to each natural tooth outside of the empty space. More recently, dental technology has been developed to secure a dental bridge to one or more dental implants. Dental implants are tiny posts that are inserted into the jawbone in a comfortable procedure after which artificial teeth can be affixed to the upper pole of the post or posts.
How are crowns and bridges made?
Dental crowns and bridges are made in a dental lab, fabricated using a model of teeth made from dental impressions. The details of the tooth obtained through impressions are carved out of the selected material and then placed into the mouth for a full evaluation.
How long do crowns and bridges last?
Dental crowns and bridges can last seven to fifteen years or more depending on the type of material chosen to fabricate the restoration and the level of oral care that is maintained after treatment.
How to care for your crowns and bridges?
With proper care, a good quality crown and bridge can last up to eight years or longer. It is very important to floss the areas that they are in to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration.
Certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) significantly shorten the life of a crown. Moreover, eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the adhesion of the crown, or even damage the crown. Dentists recommend using non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Flossing is vital to the prevention of bacterial activity around dental crowns. Our team is happy to demonstrate proper flossing technique to preserve these restorations.