Crowns and Bridges
Crowns and bridges are proven and effective dental solutions to restore the oral functionality and aesthetics of a patient who suffers from a chipped, fractured or missing tooth. Dental crowns are most commonly needed after a root canal treatment. The tooth structure tends to become brittle following the root canal treatment due to the removal of the nerve which provides vitality to the tooth. Brittle teeth can very easily crack, chip or break due regular chewing action. Before such a break occurs, it is very important to have a dental crown placed on the tooth to protect it. The crown is made from a stronger material and it therefore protects the inside tooth from chipping and breaking.
Crowns are also used in combination with dental implants to give a natural appearance and full functionality to the artificial tooth root. Crowns are usually made with porcelain or porcelain fused to metal (PFM). Modern materials in dentistry have now made it possible to have all porcelain crowns from all teeth. The main and clear advantage of an all porcelain crown is that there is no visible metal ring near the gum line. This makes these all porcelain crowns very aesthetic and when placed on front teeth make for a great looking smile.
Dental crowns need to be maintained the same way as normal teeth. Patients are advised to regularly brush and floss their crowns carefully so that the growth of bacteria in the covered teeth will not take place. Regular dental care is required to prevent decay of the underlying tooth, which can ultimately lead to fractures below the gum line and necessitate crown replacements or in some cases extraction.
Dental bridges are a good solution for patients who have missing teeth but are not candidates for dental implants. Through dental bridges, dentists are able to cover the missing tooth gap, which will stop the adjacent teeth from moving and creating a misalignment.
Dental bridges can be placed in a two-appointment process. In the initial appointment, cleaning and shaping of the neighboring teeth will take place and if there are any existing crowns, they will be removed. Moreover, if decay is found in the adjacent teeth, it is taken care of as well. Following this, the dentist takes a mold or impression of the prepared teeth and it will be sent to the lab.
In the meantime, the patient is given a temporary bridge to wear. After a few weeks, the patient is required to attend the second and final appointment, in which the temporary bridge is removed and the permanent one tried on for fit, color matching and bite. If all the criteria are satisfactory, the bridge is cemented in place and is ready to use right away.