A crown (or cap) is a fabrication that covers the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. It protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be repaired with fillings or veneers.
Although there are many types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored) crowns are the most popular, because they most resemble your natural teeth. They are more durable than bonded restorations or veneers and will last many years, however they may still eventually need to be replaced. Porcelain crowns are made to match the chosen color, size, and shape for your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.
A crown procedure usually requires two appointments, or more if multiple crowns are planned. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. Anesthesia is usually used to prepare the tooth for a crown. While the tooth is numb, the tooth will be reduced and reshaped to allow the proper fit the crown. A mold will be made of the tooth and surrounding structures that will be sent to the dental laboratory to allow fabrication of your new crown. A temporary crown will be made in your mouth. It will be temporarily cemented onto your tooth and remain in place for two to three weeks while the permanent crown is being made.
At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed and the tooth will be cleaned. Your new crown will be carefully adjusted to ensure the fit is accurate. You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your entire mouth as well as your new crown.
A dental bridge is a cemented (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.
While there are several types of bridges, porcelain fixed bridges are the most esthetic because they resemble your natural teeth. This type of bridge consists of at least two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
Dental bridges are very durable and will last many years. They may however need to be re-cemented periodically if forces on the bridge are excessive.
Making a bridge usually requires two or more visits. Local anesthesia is usually used. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown. Next, a very accurate mold (impression) is made of the teeth and supporting structures which will be sent to the dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. A temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment.
At the second visit, you permanent bridge will be carefully checked and adjusted. If all looks good, the bridge will be cemented to achieve a beautiful result. We will discuss home care recommendations at the conclusion of your treatment. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge.