Crowns (caps) and Bridges
A crown is a restoration that covers, or "caps," a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth. Bridges are multiple crowns attached together to replace missing teeth. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and fillings won't solve the problem. If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to seal the cracks so the damage doesn't get worse. Crowns are also used to restore a tooth when there isn't enough of the tooth remaining to provide support for a large filling, attach a bridge, protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth or cover badly shaped or discolored teeth.
To prepare the tooth for a crown, it is reduced so the crown can fit over it. An impression of the teeth and gums is made and sent to the lab for the crown fabrication. A temporary crown is fitted over the tooth until the permanent crown is made. On the next visit, we remove the temporary crown and cements the permanent crown onto the tooth.
Our main goal is to create a crown that looks like a natural tooth, which is why we take an impression. To achieve a certain look, a number of factors are considered, such as the color, bite, shape and length of your natural teeth. Any one of these factors alone can affect your appearance.
If you have a certain cosmetic look in mind for your crown, discuss it with your us during you consultation visit. When the procedure is complete, your teeth will not only be stronger, but they may be more attractive.
Compared to veneers, crowns require more tooth structure removal, hence they cover more of the tooth. Crowns are customarily indicated for teeth that have sustained significant loss of structure or to replace missing teeth. Crowns may be placed on natural teeth or dental implants.
Crowns should last a minimum of five to eight years with proper care. However, with good oral hygiene and supervision, most crowns will last for a much longer period of time. Some damaging habits like grinding your teeth, chewing ice or fingernail biting may cause this period of time to decrease significantly.
To prevent damaging or fracturing the crown, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects. You also want to avoid teeth grinding. Besides visiting us for hygiene services and brushing twice a day, cleaning between your teeth is vital with crowns. Floss or interdental cleaners (specially shaped brushes and sticks) are important tools to remove plaque from the crown area where the gum meets the tooth. Plaque in that area can cause dental decay and gum disease.