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Dental Crowns and Fixed Bridges

Animation of dental crown placement

Dental Crowns

Also known as a cap, a crown is a thin, tooth-shaped covering that completely surrounds the tooth’s surface. Cemented on top of the tooth, it restores the original shape and size of even the most damaged teeth. It also protects and strengthens the structure when damage is so severe that it cannot be mended with a simple filling.

Crowns are highly customizable and can be made from a variety of materials, but porcelain is the most popular. The material looks, feels, and functions just like your natural enamel. Porcelain crowns are highly durable and can be expected to last for many years with proper care.

 

Some of the most common reasons for a dental crown include…

  • Holding together broken or fractured teeth
  • To provide cosmetic enhancements
  • Restoring severely decayed teeth
  • Mending fractured fillings
  • The final step in a root canal

Process for a Dental Crown

If you need a dental crown, you can expect for it to be completed over the course of two visits to your dentist. During the first, we will take a series of impressions that we will use to make sure your crown to matches the specific dimensions of your teeth. We will use the same molds to create a temporary crown which you will wear until your new one is ready to be placed, which will be about two weeks after the initial appointment.

To begin, we will administer anesthesia and sedation as necessary to ensure you are really relaxed. When the tooth is numb, we will remove any decay and reshape the tooth’s surface to ensure there is plenty of room for the crown. Next, we will place a temporary crown with temporary cement. We will then check your bite to ensure it fits fine.

When you come in for your second appointment, we will remove your temporary crown and clean your tooth. Then, we will carefully place the crown and check to ensure that it fits just like it should in your bite. We’ll talk you through how to care for your new crown, then send you on your way with your newly restored tooth!

Animation of fixed bridge placement

Fixed Dental Bridges

While a dental crown repairs significant damage, a fixed bridge is a non-removable appliance that replaces one or more missing teeth. A traditional bridge is usually made out of porcelain fused-to-metal. It is made up of two crowns that fit securely over the two teeth surrounding the gap in the smile — these teeth are known as abutments. Then, pontic (artificial) teeth will fill in the space in between. Dental bridges are a highly effective method for tooth replacement, and they can last for many years with the proper care and maintenance.

Just like with dental crowns, the process for a dental bridge is usually carried out over two visits to the dentist’s office. We will prepare the abutment teeth to receive the crowns, take impressions, place temporaries, and have you return to our office about two weeks later for the placement of your permanent bridge.

Fixed dental bridges restore the proper form and function of your smile, renewing your oral health and beauty. They can also stabilize the surrounding teeth to prevent misalignments.

Caring for a Crown or Bridge

We will send you home with precise instructions for caring for your new crown or bridge. In general, maintain excellent dental hygiene and continue to visit our office for checkups and cleanings. During these visits, we will check in to make sure your crown or bridge is healthy and functioning just like it should. If you have any questions, be sure to contact our office today.