Crown and Bridge

What is a crown?

A crown is a cap that is placed over the tooth. It can help strengthen a tooth when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to hold a normal filling. A crown fully encases the entire portion of the tooth that lies at and above the gum line. Crowns can also be used to attach bridges, cover a dental implant, restore broken teeth, or make cosmetic modifications. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are often preferred because they look like natural teeth and are very strong.

What’s the procedure of getting a crown?

Your dentist will first take several impressions to create your custom crown and may take a few X-rays to check the roots of the tooth receiving the crown and surrounding bone. Your dentist will numb the tissue around your tooth. Next, the tooth receiving the crown is filed down along the surface and sides to make room for the crown. The amount removed depends on the type of crown used You will receive a temporary crown that will stay on your tooth until your new crown is created. The crown is usually returned to your dentist’s office in two to three weeks.

At the second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and check the fit and color of the permanent crown. If everything is acceptable, the new crown is permanently cemented in place. You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.

What is a bridge?

A bridge replaces missing teeth by bridging the gap created between them. A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap.  One type of bridge consists of crowns placed on both sides of the missing tooth to connect the replacement tooth or teeth to them. Another type of bridge consists of the replacement tooth attached to the adjacent teeth with wing-like attachments. Bridges can also be supported by dental implants.

What’s the procedure of getting a bridge?

Preparation involves shaping the teeth by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Next, impressions of the teeth are made and the bridge will be made by a dental lab. Your dentist will make a temporary bridge to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the bridge is being made.

During the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed and the new permanent bridge will be checked to achieve a proper fit. If the dental bridge is a fixed bridge, your dentist may temporarily cement it in place for a couple of weeks to make sure it is fitting properly. After a couple weeks, the bridge is cemented into place.