Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps, which are placed on top of a prepared tooth to restore size, shape, function and appearance. Once installed, the crown will cover the portion of the tooth visible above the gum line. Crowns should last a very long time. If one does become impaired, loose, or falls off, the dentist can repair it or install a new one. Permanent crowns can be all metal, porcelain-fused to metal, all-resin or all ceramic. Porcelain-fused or all ceramic crowns can be tinted to match the surrounding teeth, providing a natural look. The metals most often used in crowns include gold alloy, other alloys like palladium and base-metal alloys like nickel or chromium. Each kind of crown offers different benefits. Metal crowns require less tooth removal, and they last longer due to their resistance to damage from biting or chewing. Porcelain fused to metal crowns offer a combination of a natural look with strength, and all porcelain crowns provide the most natural look.
When two or more teeth are missing, a dentist may suggest a bridge to fill the space. The bridge is secured to the neighboring teeth with dental crowns with the false tooth or teeth bridging the gap. Bridges come in three forms:
Bridge placement typically takes two visits. At the first appointment, the adjacent tooth or teeth are prepared for their crowns by shaving down a thin layer of the enamel. An impression will also be taken of the area containing the neighboring teeth and then delivered to a dental lab. This impression is used as a guide to manufacturing the bridge, including the crowns. During the next visit, the permanent crowns will be attached to the neighboring teeth with a strong bonding agent, and then the bridge is secured. Permanent bridges are secured with similar bonding adhesive while a temporary bridge uses metal clips.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!