A crown is a permanent covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance, although it is often less durable.
Sometimes called a fixed partial denture, a bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth and literally “bridges” the gap where one or more teeth used to be. Bridges can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials and are attached to surrounding teeth for support. Unlike a removable bridge, which you can take out and clean, a fixed bridge can only be removed by a dentist.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may notice a difference in chewing and speaking. Bridges can help restore your smile and increase function.
The success of a bridge depends on the how strong the existing teeth are under the bridge so it’s very important to keep your remaining teeth healthy and strong.
The treatment plan for a crown or bridge:
- Numbing the tooth/teeth to remove the decay in or around it.
- Re-sculpting the tooth/teeth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
- Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown or bridge (usually takes two to three weeks).
- Making a temporary crown/bridge out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth/teeth during the interim period when the permanent custom-made crown or bridge is being created.
- Applying the permanent crown or bridge (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown/bridge and fitting the permanent one onto the teeth.
- After ensuring that the crown/bridge has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.
This process generally consists of a minimum of 2-3 visits over a three to four week period.
Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease. Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime.