Crowns and Bridges

Bridges

Implant bridges are a natural-looking solution that can replace a section of missing teeth. Because they are custom-made, bridges are barely noticeable and can restore the natural contour of teeth as well as the proper bite relationship between upper and lower teeth.

Bridges are sometimes referred to as fixed partial dentures, because they are semi-permanent and are bonded to existing teeth or implants. Some bridges are removable and can be cleaned by the wearer; others need to be removed by a dentist.

Porcelain, gold alloys or combinations of materials are usually used to make fixed bridges.

Implant bridges are attached to abutments which are secured to implants. Implants replace the roots of the teeth that have been lost.

Crowns

Crowns are synthetic caps, usually made of a material like porcelain, placed on the top of a tooth.

Crowns 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.

Crowns are also used to attach bridges, cover implants, prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse, or an existing filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislocated. Crowns also serve an aesthetic use, and are applied when a discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance.

Procedures

A tooth must usually be reduced in size to accommodate a crown. Traditionally, an impression is made of the existing tooth.The impression is sent to a dental lab, which manufactures a custom-designed crown. In most cases, a temporary crown is placed until the permanent crown is ready several weeks later. The permanent crowns are cemented in place on the second visit.

At this office most crowns can be made and bonded in one visit, using a digital impression, and Cerec technology.

Crowns are sometimes confused with veneers, but they are quite different. Veneers are typically applied only to the front of the tooth.

Caring For Your Crowns

With proper care, a good quality crown could last up to eight years or longer. It is very important to floss in the area of the crown 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.