Dental crowns and bridges can restore a confident, healthy smile. Broken, chipped, damaged and missing teeth can affect how you smile, speak and chew. Crowns and bridges are prosthetic devices that return your smile to its natural state.
Crowns and bridges fit over an existing tooth or implant. Unlike dentures and other removable devices that you can take out to clean, dental crowns and bridges are cemented into place. Because they are permanently affixed, crowns and bridges cannot slip out of place as dentures can. Made from tooth-colored materials, dental crowns and bridges look, feel and function like natural teeth.
Cumberland, RI, Dentist Discusses Dental Crowns and Bridges
Dental crowns and bridges are similar in that they both are prosthetic devices that can repair dental problems, such as broken, chipped and missing teeth. Crowns and bridges are different in many ways, though.
A dental crown fits like a cap over a tooth. A crown can strengthen a damaged tooth, and a dental crown can improve the appearance, shape or alignment of a healthy tooth. A dentist can also place a crown on top of a dental implant as a permanent replacement for a missing tooth.
Placement of a dental crown typically takes two visits. During the first visit, your dentist will prepare the tooth to receive its new crown by removing a small amount of the enamel and giving it a uniform shape. Your dentist will then take impressions of your teeth and send the mold to a laboratory, which will make your crown. At the next visit, your dentist will cement the crown in place.
Your dentist can create porcelain or ceramic crowns that match the color, shape and size of your natural teeth, so they look great when you smile and talk. Other crowns may contain stronger materials, such as gold and metal alloys, ceramic and acrylic, which are sturdy enough to withstand the pressure of chewing. In many cases, dentists will recommend a crown made of porcelain bonded to a metal shell, as this type of crown is both strong and attractive.
Our Cumberland, RI, dentist may recommend a crown to:
- Replace a large filling when there is not enough tooth remaining to support the filling
- Protect a weakened tooth from fracturing
- Attach a dental bridge
- Cover a dental implant
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Cover up a poorly-shaped or discolored tooth
- Permanently protect a tooth following root canal treatment
About Dental Bridges
As their name suggests, dental bridges bridge the gap created by missing teeth. A bridge typically consists of a replacement tooth supported by the two remaining teeth that sit on each side of the gap, known as abutments. The abutments serve as anchors for the replacement tooth, known as the pontic.
Our dentist may recommend a bridge to replace one or more missing teeth. Remaining teeth can rotate and shift into the empty spaces created by missing teeth; this can result in a bad bite and teeth that are difficult to clean. In time, missing and drifting teeth can lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and gum disease.
The dental bridge procedure requires several visits. Your dentist will prepare the abutment teeth in the first visit, and make impressions for the lab. At the next visit, your dentist will cement the abutments and pontic in place.
Paulo Darosa, DDS – Family Dentistry provides the highest quality dental care for the entire family in a friendly and professional environment.