A crown or cap is used when a tooth cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity threatens the ongoing health of a tooth. By encasing the entire tooth surface, a crown restores the original shape and size of the tooth. A crown also strengthens and protects the tooth structure.
Once placed, the crown becomes the tooth’s new outer surface. In comparison, a dental filling just fills in or repairs a portion of a tooth. Dental crowns are permanently cemented into place. The resulting tooth-crown unit is cared for and functions like any natural tooth.
Reasons for placing a crown can be as a cosmetic enhancement or for broken or fractured teeth, decayed teeth, fractured fillings, large fillings or on a tooth that has had a root canal.
The most popular type of crowns is porcelain, or tooth colored crowns. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color of your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile. Porcelain crowns are highly durable and made to last for many years.
What does the procedure involve?
Placing a crown usually requires two appointments. During the first appointment several molds or impressions are taken to create your custom crown. While the tooth is numb, the dentist removes any decay and shapes the surface to fit the crown. Then a temporary crown is cemented into place. The temporary crown stays on your tooth for approximately two weeks while your new crown is fabricated by a local dental laboratory. At your second appointment the temporary crown is removed, the tooth cleaned, and your new crown placed to ensure that the spacing and bite are accurate.
Dental bridges are dental restorations that literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Bridges restore your bite and helps keep the natural shape of your face. When you lose a tooth, the nearby teeth may tilt or drift into the empty space. The teeth in the opposite jaw may also shift up or down toward the space. This can affect your bite and place unusual stress on your teeth and jaw.
How is a Bridge Placed?
The dentist prepares the teeth on either side of the gap. The bridge will later be attached to these teeth.
An impression of your teeth and the space between is taken and sent to a local dental laboratory. The dentist will place a temporary bridge while your permanent bridge is made.
A bridge has three parts; a pontic, the artificial replacement tooth or teeth used to fill the gap, and a dental crown on each side. When the bridge is completed, it is fixed or cemented to the prepared teeth. Sometimes dental implants are chosen to support a bridge. The bridge cannot be taken out of your mouth without a dentist’s help.