Dental crowns are often used to protect or restore teeth that are compromised, so that they can look, feel, and function as they did before becoming damaged. A crown may be utilized to:
- Protect or restore a tooth that is cracked, chipped, or weakened by severe decay
- Protect a large filling with insufficient natural tooth structure
- Protect a tooth after root canal treatment
- Improve the functionality and appearance of a misshapen, stained, or discolored tooth
After the tooth is prepared, the Dentist makes a mold to send to the laboratory for fabrication of the crown. Based on the strength requirements, durability, esthetic requirement, and space availability, the following materials may be selected for fabrication of your crown: porcelain fused to metal, all ceramic, all gold crowns. A temporary crown is made to cover and protect the tooth until the custom crown is created. On the second visit, the crown is evaluated based on fit, appearance, function, and then cemented once approved by the Dentist.
A bridge is a fixed (non-removable) replacement for one to three missing teeth in a row. In the picture below, you see a bridge that is made of two crowns and one artificial tooth (known as a pontic), that will be anchored on two prepared natural teeth (known as abutments). A temporary bridge will be placed to protect the abutment teeth and exposed gum area until the final permanent bridge is ready.
A dental bridge may be recommended for the following reasons:
- Prevent remaining natural teeth from drifting out of their proper positions
- Restore your ability to function (speak, chew, eat)
- Alleviate excess stress on the bite
- Improve the appearance of your smile