Crowns and Bridges are used to restore and enhance teeth that are damaged, or to take the place of missing teeth when a implant is not elected. A crown, also referred to as a cap, is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth. A crown not only strengthens a tooth, but it can dramatically improve a tooth’s appearance, shape and alignment.
Crowns may be used to:
- Replace a large filling when there is little tooth structure remaining
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- Restore a fractured or cracked tooth
- Attach a bridge
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
A bridge is a good method to fill the space created by missing teeth. A bridge is one or more artificial teeth that are cemented into place using the teeth on either side for support, hence the name. This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics.
It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward. Since teeth use their neighbors for support, if one is missing they begin to “fall” and shift into the open spaces. This may worsen the bite due to changes in pressure and can eventually result in problems with the jaw such as TMJ.
Crowns and bridges are made by taking a digital scan of your mouth/tooth after Dr. Bush has prepared the area. This new technology replaces the old impression techniques, and is actually more accurate, as well as more comfortable. The scan is then sent to a dental lab where your crown or bridge will be custom made to fit your mouth. A temporary crown or bridge will be placed into your mouth until your permanent crown or bridge is made. When the permanent crown or bridge is ready, it will be cemented into place.
Crowns and bridges are very durable and can last a lifetime with extra care and by practicing good oral hygiene and regular visits to see your dentist. We have seen many cases in our office of documented crowns lasting over 60 years. Special attention is needed in flossing underneath your bridge, sp we will teach you how to do this and give you a special floss threader to be used.