Dental crowns are durable, tooth-colored “jackets” that surround the entire visible portion of the tooth, providing extra strength and protection. They’re used to provide additional protection for teeth used to support a bridge, to cover dark fillings, to repair teeth that have large cracks or fractures, and to strengthen and protect teeth that have been treated with a root canal. Crowns usually require two office visits. At the first appointment, a small portion of the tooth surface material is removed to make room for the crown. An impression is made and sent to a lab where the crown will be made and tinted to match the size, shape, and color of the surrounding teeth. A temporary crown may be placed on the tooth to protect it while the permanent crown is being made. At the second visit, the crown will be applied using a strong bonding agent and then carefully shaped so it fits comfortably. Our office offers crowns of various materials, including porcelain and gold, as well as Lava® and BruxZir® zirconia crowns.
A dental bridge is an appliance that’s used to span or “bridge” a gap left by one or more missing teeth. A bridge includes a metal framework and one or more prosthetic teeth or crowns that attach to the bridge. The bridge attaches to the teeth on either side of the gap using special clips that enable the bridge to be easily removed, or using a special strong adhesive that keeps the bridge firmly attached. Bridges typically require two office visits. During the first visit, the teeth on either side of the gap are prepared for crowns, and an impression is made of the space and sent to a lab where the crowns and bridge will be made. At the second appointment, the crowns and bridge are applied, and the bridge will be adjusted for a comfortable fit.
Cleaning around a permanently-affixed bridge can take some practice, but it’s not difficult to master. Removable bridges can be taken out to clean the bridge and the gums and supporting teeth.
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