Crowns

 Crowns are synthetic caps, made of various materials including porcelain, gold or zirconium which are placed over a prepared tooth.

Crowns are typically used to restore a tooth's function and appearance if it has fractured, has had significant decay or has undergone root canal therapy. Crowns are also used to attach bridges, cover implants, prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse, or an existing large filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislocated. Crowns also serve an aesthetic use, and are applied when a discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance.


 

Bridges

Bridges are natural-looking dental appliances that can replace a section of missing teeth. Because they are custom-made, bridges are barely noticeable and can restore the natural contour of teeth as well as the proper bite relationship between upper and lower teeth.

Bridges are sometimes referred to as fixed partial dentures, because they are semi-permanent and are bonded to existing teeth or implants. Some bridges are removable and can be cleaned by the wearer; others need to be removed by a dentist.

Porcelain, gold alloys or combinations of materials are usually used to make bridge appliances.

Appliances called implant bridges are attached to an area below the gum tissue, or the bone.

 

Procedures

A tooth must usually be reduced in size to accommodate a crown. An impression is made of the prepared tooth and is sent to a special lab, which manufactures the custom-designed crown. In almost all cases, a temporary crown is applied until the permanent crown is ready. Permanent crowns are then cemented in place.



Caring For Your Crowns

With proper care, quality crowns should last for several years. It is very important to floss in the area of the crown to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration.

Certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) significantly shorten the life of a crown. Moreover, eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the adhesion of the crown, or even damage the crown.