Crowns – also known as “caps” – are effective prosthetic dental devices that are used to cover a damaged or decayed tooth. When you opt to have a crown placed over your tooth, the procedure follows a common set of steps to get the best results possible:
First, your tooth enamel is reshaped and filled (painlessly with local anesthetics) so that the crown can be fitted. Next, impressions of your teeth will be taken at the office so that we can custom-design a proper prosthesis in a dental lab. During this time, we will give you a temporary crown. After approximately 2-3 weeks, once the crown has been fabricated, we will then bring you back in for a final visit to install the crown using specialized dental cement.
Why Restore with a Crown?
Crowns last 10-15 years, on average, and can be made of attractive, highly-durable materials, including gold and porcelain (the more natural choice). Crowns are also highly-effective at fixing a tooth structure that has been weakened or undermined over time. If a tooth has decayed too far where there may not have enough remaining original tooth material, or it has fragile or missing parts, a dental crown is one of the best options you can choose.
Finally, crowns are an optimal treatment when fillings or bonding procedures do not have the capabilities you need. Crowns prevent further damage and decay, and work to give you back a strong, natural smile you’ll want to show off.
Bridges are generally defined as 3+ attached crowns in any given area of the jaw. They are used to replace the structure and function of missing teeth, and give you a more complete and natural-looking tooth structure.
Bridges use the existing structure of your teeth to work the way they are supposed to. These smart, durable dental devices are used to “bridge” gaps and create normalcy for speaking, chewing, and overall jaw movement. They boast the highest levels of strength across a myriad of solutions, and are popular among adult patients looking for an alternative to partial dentures.
How is a bridge installed? The abutments and the base of your jaw are properly shaped next to where the bridge will be placed. Like crowns, once the area is shaped, a mold of your jaw is taken, sent to a lab for fabrication, and you have a temporary bridge installed. The mold acts as a blueprint to fit everything according to your needs, and a guide when you have your final bridges permanently fitted to your teeth. Bridges help to avoid any further “falling” of surrounding teeth, and can prevent other serious problems such as TMJ, gum disease, and more.
For more information concerning crowns or bridges, or to schedule your next appointment with us, please call Florence Family Dental at 609-499-4915.