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Crowns and Bridges

What is a crown?

A crown is a tooth-shaped cover or “cap” that is permanently cemented over a tooth in order to restore the tooth’s strength, shape, size, and appearance. The crown will cover the visible portion of the tooth above the gumline.

Crowns are most often placed when a tooth is broken or cracked, or when a large filling puts the tooth at risk of fracture.  Crowns are also used to attach a bridge, or to cover discolored or deformed teeth. Crowns are also placed over dental implants to restore your missing tooth.

What to expect:

Crowns require two dental visits to complete.  During the first visit, the tooth is prepared by removing all decay and filling material in the tooth.  The tooth is reduced in size to allow adequate thickness for the ceramic material that will be used to make the crown.  We then take a digital scan of the tooth, which is electronically sent to a dental laboratory so that the crown can be created.  You will go home from your first visit with a temporary crown on the tooth that will keep it protected until the permanent crown is made.  During the second visit, the temporary crown will be removed and the permanent crown will be cemented into place.

Crowns generally last about five to eight years, although with good oral hygiene and routine preventive care, most crowns will last longer.  Certain habits such as fingernail biting, ice chewing, and teeth grinding can do damage to the crown, and should be avoided.

Will it hurt?

During the procedure, your tooth will be numbed and you should not experience any pain or discomfort.  Some patients may experience some sensitivity in the tooth while wearing the temporary crown.  In most cases, this should subside within days or weeks after cementing the final crown.

Bridges

Dental bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth in your mouth. Dental bridges are fixed, in that they are cemented on the adjacent supporting teeth, or in some cases attached to the dental implants that have been placed next to the missing teeth. 


Importance of Replacing the Missing Teeth

Replacing your missing teeth will restore your ability to properly chew and speak.  The space caused by the missing teeth may allow the surrounding teeth to shift into that space, which can lead to changes in your bite, excessive wear, and trauma to teeth.  Tilted teeth are harder to clean, making them more susceptible to gum disease, decay or even additional tooth loss.

Cleaning Your Dental Bridge

The longevity of your dental bridge depends in large part on the quality of the material of the bridge, as well as your oral hygiene, diet and the health of the supporting teeth and gums.  Please ask us for proper brushing and flossing techniques!

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