Crowns and Bridges

Dental crowns and bridges are custom-fitted tooth prosthetics that are used to replace or restore damaged or missing teeth. Crowns – also known as caps – are fixed over the surfaces of natural tooth structures or dental implants. Bridges are used to fill in the gaps left by missing teeth and are anchored in place by the natural teeth or crowns nearest the empty space. Both crowns and bridges are non-removable and must be cemented in place by a licensed dentist. Patients who get crown or bridges to restore their smiles achieve both the function and appearance of natural, healthy teeth.

A temporary restoration is often used during these treatments while patients are waiting for their permanent restoration to be fabricated by a dental lab. Temporary restorations allow patients to try out the look and feel of the final prosthetic and make any necessary changes before the final fabrication and fitting. Unlike temporary prosthetics of the past, modern provisional restorations are highly functional and aesthetically pleasing. Today’s temporaries are composed of a quality acrylic resin that mimic the look and feel of permanent metal or ceramic restorations.

Dental Crowns and Bridges

Did you know…

that the Etruscan civilization were the first to use crowns as a means of restoring damaged teeth? In fact, the materials they used – ivory, gold, and bones – were still the standard in dentistry as recently as the 20th century, when porcelain crowns were first invented. Today, crowns and bridges are customized specifically for the patient’s bite and can usually be placed in as little as one or two dental visits. With proper cleaning and regular dental check-ups, crowns and bridges can last many years, or even a lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t I just get a filling?

Very often people ask to have a filling done to fix their tooth instead of a crown. While dentistry has made great strides in techniques and materials, after the decayed and/or broken down parts are removed sometimes there just simply isn’t enough tooth structure remaining to support a filling. Please watch this video to help illustrate the differences between a filling and a crown as well as when each one is indicated.

Is a crown or bridge right for me?

If you have a tooth that is damaged or decayed, but still intact, a dental crown may be right for you. If your tooth is missing, but there are healthy teeth on both sides of the missing one, a bridge may be a solution for you. Schedule an office consultation to determine whether you could benefit from crowns or bridges.

What should I expect when I have my crown or bridge placed?

If you are a candidate for a crown or bridge, your teeth will be reduced to ensure a proper fit. An impression will then be taken of your bite and used to fabricate a mold for the crown or bridge. If you are choosing porcelain prosthesis, its color will be matched to the natural shade of your other teeth. If a dental lab is making your crown or bridge, you may be fitted with a temporary restoration until the permanent one is ready for placement.

Will I need a temporary restoration during the course of my dental treatment?

You may need a temporary restoration if you are preparing to get a new crown, bridge, veneers, dental implants or some other permanent restoration. Temporaries may be put in place to ensure you are pleased with the aesthetics and fit of your new prosthetic. You may also be fit for a temporary restoration while you wait for a dental lab to finalize your permanent ones.

Do I need to follow any post-treatment care guidelines?

Your teeth will need time to heal following the crown and bridge placement process, so it is not unusual for you to experience some sensitivity – especially to hot and cold. Additionally, you may experience soreness in the gums surrounding your restorations, though this is usually manageable with ibuprofen and should subside within a few days. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Should I get a dental implant instead?

Very often people are faced with the option of a bridge or a dental implant to replace a missing tooth. There are advantages and disadvantages to both of these options and times where one may be possible but not the other. The only way to determine what is best for you is to discuss your individual needs with your dentist. Please read the information in the following link to help answer any questions regarding the decision you have in your healthcare choices.

Provisional restorations

Provisional restorations are often used during complex restorative dental procedures to serve as temporary prosthetic replacements while patients wait for a permanent restoration. Provisional restorations offer patients to try-out the look and feel of the final prosthetic and make any necessary changes before the final fabrication and fitting. Unlike temporary prosthetics of the past, modern provisional restorations are highly functional and aesthetically pleasing. Today’s temporaries are composed of a quality acrylic resin that mimics the look and feel of permanent metal or ceramic restorations.

Did you know…

Provisional restorations are a primary component of smile reconstructions. In addition to serving cosmetic purposes for patients with missing or damaged teeth, dental temporaries provide the following functions:

  • Reserving’ space for the permanent restoration by preventing surrounding tooth movement
  • Protecting reduced natural teeth that are prepped for restorations
  • Preserving the health and natural contours of the gums surrounding the restoration
  • Protecting exposed dentin from bacteria and plaque
  • Preventing tooth sensitivity
  • Facilitating normal eating and speaking

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I need a provisional restoration during the course of my dental treatment?

You may need a provisional restoration if you are preparing to get a new crown, bridge, veneers, dental implants or some other permanent restoration. Temporaries may be put in place to ensure you are pleased with the aesthetics and fit of your new prosthetic. You may also be fit for a provisional restoration while you wait for a dental lab to finalize your permanent ones.

What should I expect when being fit for a dental temporary?

Temporaries are constructed in a dental laboratory using impressions and digital images of your teeth. The lab will produce a ‘wax-up’ that you will approve before the temporaries are fabricated. Your dentist will prepare your teeth for the provisional restorations and temporarily attach them to your teeth, where they will remain until you are ready for your permanent restorations.

Will I need to follow any special guidelines after receiving my temporary restoration?

You may need to wear your temporaries for just a few days or for several months depending on the type of dental reconstruction you are undergoing. Temporaries formed in place of crowns or veneers may only need to be worn for a few days to a few weeks, whereas dental implant and full-mouth reconstruction patients will need to wear provisional restorations for several months while the gums heal and the implants fuse with surrounding bone. Keep in mind that provisional restorations are less durable than permanent ones and are placed using provisional cement. Because it is possible for them to shift or become damaged, you should be careful to follow your dentist’s guidelines for caring for your temporaries – including using good oral hygiene, abiding by dietary restrictions, and using protective mouth gear during sports or high impact activity.