A dental crown is a custom-made covering that fits over an original tooth that is decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, or ceramic.
The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:
- Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it.
- Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
- Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes about three weeks).
- Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period when the custom-made crown is being created.
- Applying the custom-made crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the custom-made one onto the tooth.
- After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.
This process generally consists of a minimum of two to three visits over a three week period. Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease.
A bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge may be necessary to prevent:
- Shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems and resultant periodontal disease.
- Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.
There are two main types of bridges, namely:
- Fixed Bridge – this consists of a filler tooth (pontic) or teeth that are attached to two or more crowns, which fit over the existing teeth and hold the bridge in place.
- Implant Bridge – filler teeth (pontics) can be connected to implants so that teeth may be replaced without needing support from adjacent teeth as with a traditional fixed bridge. The implant's root also helps to better preserve the bone and keep it healthy.