Crowns and Bridges
Severe tooth decay can sometimes damage a tooth to the point where a filling cannot keep it intact. Left untreated, these teeth can break down even further. In these cases, dentists rely on dental crowns to preserve what’s left of the tooth.
Dental crowns are one of the most valuable restorations we offer. A crown can save a broken or decayed tooth by holding it together & preserving it from further damage. It can also serve as a beautiful replacement for an unsightly tooth.
Benefits of Crowns/Bridges
Common Questions About Crowns and Bridges
Crown – A cap, usually made of zirconia, porcelain, or metal, that is placed over a tooth to restore its appearance and function.
Fixed Bridge – A restoration that can replace a missing tooth. It consists of a pontic (artificial tooth) suspended between adjacent teeth (known as abutments)
Types of Bridges
- Traditional Bridge – The pontic is suspended between two adjacent crowns
- Cantilever Bridge – Anchored in the mouth by only one crown adjacent to the missing tooth
- Implant-Supported Bridge – Rather than using teeth to support the bridge, implants placed on either side of the missing tooth to serve as abutments
- Maryland Bonded Bridges – These are attached to adjacent teeth with metal wings rather than crowns
Dr. Faiella will evaluate the tooth or teeth in question to determine whether a crown or bridge is the best treatment option. She will also discuss any alternative options.
Once the decision has been made to move forward with the crown or bridge, Dr. Faiella will take an impression of the existing teeth prior to starting so that a temporary crown can be made after completing the procedure.
The area will be numbed so that you are comfortable throughout the procedure.
The tooth or teeth will then be prepared to create sufficient space for the crown. This involved removing a small amount of tooth structure around the tooth, usually around 1-2mm deep.
Depending on the condition of the tooth, Dr. Faiella may need to build up the tooth with a composite material so that there is enough structure to retain the crown.
After the preparations are complete, an impression will be taken of your teeth. A shade will also be chosen so that the restorations will blend with your natural teeth.
This will be sent to the lab so that the crown or bridge can be fabricated.
During the final appointment, Dr. Faiella will try in the crown or bridge and make any necessary adjustments. She will check to be sure that your bite is normal so that no unnecessary pressure is placed on the new crown.
The crown or bridge is then cemented or bonded to the tooth and polished.
This depends on several factors, including the material used and how you care for it. The average lifespan of a crown or bridge is around 15 years, but they can last much longer.
- Crowns and bridges should be treated just like natural teeth –regular brushing and flossing are important.
- Floss threaders can be used to clean under a bridge
- Be sure to visit the dentist every 6 months
- The may require a little more TLC to prevent damage
- Avoid habits that may break your crown or bridge, such as chewing ice
- If you grind your teeth in your sleep, wearing a sleep guard will help protect your new smile.