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Crowns and Bridges

What are Dental Crowns and bridges 
Both crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices. This means that unlike dentures, which you can take out and clean daily, crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants. 

How do Crowns Work?
A crown is used to entirely cover or "cap" a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. A crown can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function. Crowns can be made of materials such as gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic. EMAX (ceramic) alloys are generally stronger than porcelain and maybe recommended for back teeth and have the best appearance. 

We may recommend a crown to: 

  • Replace a large filling when there isn't enough tooth remaining
  • Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
  • To attach a bridge onto
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
  • Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment

How do Bridges Work?
A bridge are good for replacing a missing tooth where you do not wish a removable denture. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a change in your bite and cause gum disease. 

Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They span the space where the teeth are missing. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Your dentist can help you decide which to use, based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations and cost. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.

How are Crowns and Bridges Made?
Before either a crown or a bridge can be made, the tooth (or teeth) must be reduced in size so that the crown or bridge will fit over it properly. After reducing the tooth/teeth, your dentist will take an impression to provide an exact mold for the crown or bridge. If porcelain is to be used, your dentist will determine the correct shade for the crown or bridge to match the color of your existing teeth.

Using this impression, a dental lab then makes your crown or bridge, in the material your dentist specifies. A temporary crown or bridge will be put in place to cover the prepared tooth while the permanent crown or bridge is being made. When the permanent crown or bridge is ready, the temporary crown or bridge is removed, and the new crown or bridge is cemented over your prepared tooth or teeth.

How Long do Crowns and Bridges Last?
While crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, they do sometimes come loose or fall out especially if you bite into something hard. The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown or bridge is to practice good oral hygiene and to visit us regularly for hygiene cleaning appointments.