What are crowns and bridges?
A crown, also referred to as a cap, is basically a dental restoration that is placed over a damaged (cracked, broken, weak) tooth to create a support structure that protects the underlying teeth, while allowing the patient full function in their bite. Crowns are most often used for a single tooth, especially after root canals, and for teeth that cannot support large fillings.
If a tooth or several teeth are missing, a bridge is placed over the remaining side teeth, next to the space, and a natural looking dental crown (a pontic) is placed between the two retaining teeth. Crowns and bridges are held in place using very strong cement. Bridges do not come in and out.
Who should get crowns and/or bridges?
Crowns are for patients who have broken teeth or large fillings. Bridges are for people who lost a tooth or several teeth and would like to restore the look of their smile, including the functionality of their bite.
What are crowns and bridges made of?
Crowns and bridges are typically made of porcelain or gold, on rare occasions. Most often, the porcelain crown is lined and supported by a biocompatible metal that offers support to the structure of the crown and allows the force of the bite to transfer along the metal frame into the jaw rather than through the already weakened or damaged tooth.
What is the procedure?
The procedure for dental crowns and bridges are very similar. We will prepare the teeth by shaping and smoothing to fit under the crown or bridge. Impressions of your teeth and bite will be taken and we will fit temporary crowns over the teeth to protect them until the permanent crowns or bridges can be placed. Once the lab has fabricated the final crown/bridge, you will return to our office where we will permanently cement the crown/bridge to your tooth/teeth.