A dental crown is essentially a false tooth placed over a natural tooth to protect and restore its function. Porcelain crowns are the most natural looking crowns because they mimic real teeth in shape, size, color and translucency. Crowns can also replace missing teeth, and may be recommended in situations like tooth decay, a cracked/broken tooth, root canal, large fillings or severe discoloration. Crowns are also used with dental bridges, and are the visible portion of dental implants.
For those missing one or more teeth, a dental bridge could be a viable solution to link gaps in the mouth. Dental bridges are permanently fastened to the teeth adjacent to those missing and used to bridge the gap left by teeth that either fell out or were extracted. Bridges are secured by and used to support dental crowns, and are sometimes used as an alternative to dental implants.
The placement of a bridge is less invasive than dental implants, but it’s not the right solution for everyone. To support a bridge, adjacent teeth must be fitted with crowns, requiring the removal of the tooth’s natural enamel. Dental bridges do not replace the missing tooth’s root, and in time will cause the jaw to shrink. The shrinking of the jaw is unavoidable and will necessitate the eventual adjustment of the dental bridge.
Crowns and bridges usually require two trips to our office. During the initial visit, the teeth surrounding the area are numbed with a local anesthetic. Our dentist prepares the surrounding teeth by cleaning any plaque or decay. A mold of the teeth is made and the customized impression is prepared in the lab. In the meantime, you will be fitted with a temporary crown or bridge constructed of acrylic resin. When you return to the office, we will remove the temporary crown or bridge and replace it with the permanent one. It is then adjusted for the proper bite and fit, and permanently bonded into the mouth.