Crown & Bridge
What You Need to Know About Crown and Bridge?
Crown and bridge treatment will restore lost teeth, support remaining teeth and help you maintain optimum dental health.
If you’re faced with tooth loss, crown and bridge treatment may be the right restorative option for you. This long-term solution can help prevent the cycle of problems that can occur when just one tooth is missing, such as shifting of the remaining teeth, decay, periodontal disease and bone loss. We provide a brochure to help you understand why restoration through crown and bridge treatment is so important, and what the procedure involves.
The Facts About Crown and Bridge Treatments:
What is a Crown?
A crown — sometimes called a “cap” — is a tooth-like covering placed over a carefully prepared existing tooth. Used to strengthen, restore or improve the appearance of your natural tooth, a crown is placed on an individual tooth much like a thimble over your finger. In addition to being used to strengthen a tooth to accommodate the attachment of a fixed bridge, crowns serve many functions. One of the most common is to support the tooth when there is no longer sufficient tooth structure left to place a filling. Crowns may also be used to protect the structure of a tooth that is fractured or broken.
Types of Crowns:
- Porcelain Fused-to-Metal Crowns
- Full Ceramic Crowns
- Full Gold Crowns
- Partial Coverage Gold or Ceramic Crowns
The crown or “cap” fits over a carefully prepared existing tooth. Single crowns are advised when a large portion of the tooth has been damaged by decay.
What is a Bridge and Why are Crowns Involved?
A bridge is a custom device anchored to neighboring teeth that replaces one or more missing teeth. When a lost tooth is replaced with a bridge, the teeth on either side of the missing one must be carefully prepared to serve as anchors (abutments) to hold the prosthetic replacement teeth in place.
The Type of Crown and Bridge Materials Used Depends on:
- Aesthetics — color match and appearance
- Form — the contour of the bridge must conform to the surrounding tissue in a natural healthy position
- Function — chewing and biting accuracy
Why is Crown and Bridge Treatment Necessary?
Losing a permanent tooth — whether it be due to dental decay, periodontal (gum) disease, injury or accident — can cause many serious problems for your neighboring teeth. Because the support and chewing forces are altered, the remaining teeth may begin to shift. The opposing tooth above or below the lost tooth can begin to move up or down and out of the socket, which can accelerate gum disease and further break down the bone structure. If the missing tooth is not replaced, more teeth may eventually be lost due to the improper forces exerted during chewing.
For superior aesthetics, full ceramic crowns and porcelain fused-to-metal crowns are often used to look like your natural teeth. Gold crowns may be used for extra strength, usually on the back teeth where chewing surfaces are under the most pressure.
What are the Benefits of Crown and Bridge Treatment?
Crown and Bridge Treatment will restore lost teeth, support remaining teeth and help you maintain optimum dental health. We will evaluate your oral health and work to create the best treatment options for you.
Crown and Bridge Treatment:
- Restores your smile
- Matches the color and appearance of your natural teeth
- Maintains the natural bite
- Maintains the shape of your face
- Prevents unnatural stress on other teeth
- Keeps other teeth in their proper place
- Prevents shifting and tilting of adjacent teeth
- Restores your ability to properly chew and speak
- Discourages further dental decay and periodontal disease
The bridge spans the space where one or more teeth have been lost in the dental arch.
How is the Treatment Performed?
Once we determine that crown and bridge treatment is indicated, a series of appointments will be scheduled for you. It is important for you to keep all of these appointments to prevent any delays in treatment. At the first appointment, we complete a thorough oral examination, including an evaluation of your dental history. Any necessary X-rays are completed at this time.
During the restorative procedure, we first anesthetize the area to be treated. Next, we carefully shape and contour the tooth or teeth to be crowned to allow the crown or bridge sufficient space for proper fit and appearance. Finally, we make an impression of the area and fit the teeth involved with a temporary crown or bridge to protect them until your next appointment.
At the following appointment, we evaluate the final crown or bridge for proper fit before placing it permanently, making final adjustments if necessary.
Together, the replacement tooth (or teeth) and crowns are fabricated and placed in the mouth as one non-removable unit called a fixed bridge.
What is the Best Way to Care for a Crown and Bridge?
Care for it as you would any of your other teeth you wish to preserve! Proper oral hygiene, including flossing at least once a day and brushing twice daily, is just as important as ever to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy, along with regular dental hygiene appointments.
To make the most of your investment, it’s important that you follow our recommendations — including making adjustments to your diet. We recommend avoiding sticky foods like caramels, gum and taffy, and crunchy foods like hard candy. And please, don’t chew ice cubes!
We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have throughout your crown and bridge treatment. During the process we will do everything we can to ensure your comfort. Our goal is to help you preserve your smile for a lifetime.