Let Total Care Dental Protect and Replace Your Missing or Damaged Teeth with One of Our High Quality Crown or Bridges
What is a crown and why is it needed?
A crown is a dental restoration that covers or “caps” a tooth to restore it to its normal shape, size and function. Its purpose is to strengthen or improve the appearance of a tooth. A crown can:
- restore a tooth when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to provide support for a large filling
- attach a bridge to replace the missing teeth
- protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- restore a fractured tooth
- cover a badly shaped or discolored tooth
- cover a dental implant
What is it made from?
The look and function of a crown are considered when choosing the material most suitable for you. Your dentist will consider the tooth location, the position of the gum tissue, the amount of tooth that shows when you smile, the color or shade of the tooth and the function of the tooth.
Crowns are made from several types of materials. Metal alloys, ceramics, porcelain, composite resin, or combinations of these materials may be used. In the process of making a crown, the material often is colored to blend in with your natural teeth.
Your dentist wants to create a crown that looks natural and feels comfortable. To achieve that, several factors are considered including the color, occlusion or “bite,” the shape and length of your natural teeth and your artificial crown.
How is a crown placed?
Several steps are involved and two dental visits generally are needed to complete the treatment. The dentist prepares the tooth by removing its outer portion to accommodate the thickness of the crown. If additional tooth structure is needed to support the crown, the dentist may build up the core of the tooth.
An impression is made to provide an exact model of the prepared tooth. Your dentist or the Kairos Dental Lab technician (following the dentist’s written instructions), then uses the model to help develop the shape and size of the crown.
A temporary cap is placed while the final crown is made. When the crown is ready, the dentist puts it in place and makes the necessary adjustments. When you and your dentist are satisfied with how it looks and feels, the crown is cemented in place.
Caring for your teeth
To prevent damage to a crown, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects, such as pencils. This is especially important for tooth-colored crowns. Brush twice a day and floss or use an interdental cleaner once a day to remove plaque, a sticky film of bacteria. And see your dentist for regular examinations and professional teeth cleaning.
What is a Bridge?
A bridge is a dental restoration that fills the space where one or more teeth are missing. The bridge restores your bite and helps keep the natural shape of your face. Before you get a bridge, your dentist wants you to know more about the steps involved. He or she can advise which type of bridge is best for you.
What if I Don’t Replace a Missing Tooth?
Teeth work together. When you lose a tooth, the nearby teeth may tilt or drift into the empty space. The teeth in the opposite jaw may also shift up or down toward the space. This can affect your bite and place unusual stress on your teeth and jaw joints. Teeth that have tipped or drifted are often hard to clean, as well. This makes them more at risk for tooth decay and gum disease. When a tooth is missing, the bone around it may shrink. This can change the way the jawbone supports the lips and cheeks. Over time, this can cause the face to sag and can make you look older.
How is a Bridge Placed?
Placing a bridge usually requires more than one dental visit. On your first visit, your dentist prepares the teeth on either side of the gap. The bridge will later be attached to these teeth.
Your dentist then takes an impression of your teeth and the space and sends the impression to Kairos Dental Lab. Technicians at the lab make the bridge. Your dentist will place a temporary bridge while you are waiting for the permanent one.
When talking about bridges, your dentist may use these terms:
- Pontic: the replacement tooth
- Crown: a “cap” that covers a tooth
A bridge has three parts, a pontic in the middle and a crown on either side. The crowns fit over the prepared teeth next to the gap. The pontic fills the space left by the missing tooth. The bridge is then fixed, or cemented, to the prepared teeth.
The bridge is permanent and cannot be taken out of your mouth without a dentist’s help. At the follow-up visit to the dentist, the bridge is fitted, adjusted and cemented in place.