What Are Crowns?
Crown and Bridgework
Your chewing ability and facial structure are negatively affected when you are missing one or more teeth. Crowns or bridgework can be used to fashion a realistic replacement for missing teeth. Crowns and bridgework are recommended if you are missing one tooth or multiple teeth. Both will require the same maintenance as your natural teeth, including daily brushing and flossing as well as regularly scheduled dental cleanings.
A crown is used to go over the top of a damaged tooth. It strengthens the tooth underneath while also improving its appearance. Crowns can be made from porcelain or ceramic which mirror the color of your natural teeth. Crowns come in a variety of gold, metal alloys, and acrylic. These options are stronger than porcelain crowns; however, porcelain can be attached to a metal shell to strengthen the material.
Bridgework goes across the space where you are missing a tooth or teeth. A bridge is cemented to your natural teeth which act as anchors for the bridgework. You will need at least three crowns to build a bridge. Two crowns will go over the healthy teeth next to your missing one. The third crown is placed in the middle of the two crowns. More crowns are necessary to bridge the gap if more than one tooth is missing.
How are crowns and bridges made?
After reducing the tooth or teeth in question to ensure that the crown or bridge will appropriately fit, the dentist will make an impression so as to provide a precision mold. The crown or bridge is then crafted using this mold.
Given the time it takes to custom make each crown and/or bridge, you will likely be given a temporary crown or bridge for use until your permanent one is finished and ready for placement.
How long do they last?
When properly constructed, crowns and bridges can last for decades. However, there remains the possibility that a crown or bridge can become loose or perhaps even fall out. As with any dental work you have done, the most essential element of ensuring the work remains intact is to adhere to best oral hygiene practices. In other words: Brush your teeth every day (twice, if possible) using a fluoride toothpaste. Daily flossing is also essential. It’s also essential that you visit your dentist for regularly scheduled dental cleanings.
Other safety precautions one can take to prevent damage to or displacement of crowns and bridges is to be cautious of certain foods. Very hard foods such as hard candies or even ice can result in damaged or dislodged crowns or bridges.
Schedule a complementary consultation with us to discuss your available options.