Teeth that are damaged, decayed, or missing can disrupt the appearance of your smile, as well as have negative effects on your oral health. For these reasons, dental prostheses are used by dentists to restore both the look and function of compromised teeth. Some of the most common dental restorations include dental crowns and bridges. A dental crown is used when part of the natural tooth structure is damaged or decayed, however the tooth still contains some healthy tissue. A dental bridge, on the other hand, is intended to replace one or more missing teeth that are surrounded by structurally sound teeth on either side of the gap.
Did You Know?
The Ancient Italians (Estrucans) were one of the first civilizations to make dental crowns and bridges as a way of restoring teeth. In that time, these primitive restorations were made out of gold, ivory, or bone.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for a dental crown or bridge?
Candidates for dental crowns are individuals who have one or more teeth with the majority of their structure affected by damage or decay. However, the tooth root must be completely intact to successfully place a dental crown. In cases where the damage or decay has reached the inside of the tooth, root canal therapy is often performed before placing a crown to restore the affected tooth.
Candidates for a dental bridge are individuals who have one or more missing teeth. However, the teeth on either side of the gap must be structurally intact and able to have a crown placed to successfully place a dental bridge.
To determine if you are an ideal candidate for a dental crown or bridge, schedule a consultation with your Lakewood Ranch dentist today.
What types of crowns and bridges are available?
Traditional dental crowns are available in five different dental materials, including:
- Stainless steel
- Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM)
In most cases, a porcelain crown will be recommended to maintain or improve the aesthetics of your smile. Additionally, dental crowns can also be used in coordination with dental implants. These are known as implant-supported crowns and they can be used to replace a single missing tooth.
Dental bridges can be fabricated from most of the materials used for dental crowns, however the different types of bridges are differentiated by structure. There are four types of dental bridges, including:
- Traditional: This is the most common type of dental bridge and is composed of one or more fake teeth supported by dental crowns placed on the teeth on either side of the bridge.
- Cantilever: Similar traditional bridge, however it is only supported by one dental crown instead of two.
- Maryland Bonded: Uses a metal framework bonded to the back of the teeth instead of dental crowns to support the bridge.
- Implant-supported: Like an implant-supported dental crown, implant-supported bridges use dental implants to provide stability.
What can I expect when having a dental crown or bridge placed at my Lakewood Ranch dental office?
Dental crowns and bridges are placed over the course of two dental appointments. The first appointment is necessary to prepare the teeth and obtain the necessary information for the permanent restoration, while the second appointment is needed to place the restoration.
When preparing a tooth for a dental crown, dental anesthetics and possible sedation is used to keep you comfortable and calm during the procedure. First, the decayed or damaged tissue is removed from the tooth followed by the tooth being reduced in size. The tooth will then be properly shaped so that a dental crown can be placed over it without affecting the bite. If a dental bridge is being placed, this process will then be repeated on a second tooth.
After the necessary teeth have been prepared, your dentist will take a dental impression or oral scan. This provides information that the dental laboratory will use in order to fabricate the permanent crown or bridge. In the meantime, you will be fit with a temporary crown or bridge to wear until the final restoration can be placed.
Your second dental appointment will be scheduled once the permanent crown or bridge has been completed. The second appointment is necessary to test the fit of the crown or bridge. Once the fit has been confired, the final restoration is cemented in place.