A bridge is a row of connected crowns that may be used to replace one or more missing teeth. Bridges use one or more teeth on either end of the empty space as anchors, called abutments. These teeth are prepared for crowns as above, and the anchor teeth receive temporary crowns while a lab fabricates the final bridge off site over 2 weeks.
A crown is a tooth-shaped shell cemented into place over a natural tooth, completely encasing the visible portion of the original tooth. Crowns can improve the shape, size, strength and appearance of a tooth. Crowns made in this office can be tooth colored porcelain with an underlying metal substructure or entirely tooth colored ceramic for the highest esthetics.
Crowns are recommended to serve a variety of purposes, including:
- Replace a large filling and decayed tooth structure when there isn't enough tooth remaining to hold a filling
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
To make a crown the tooth has to be prepared by reducing the size so the crown will fit over it properly. The dentist then takes an impression to provide an exact mold of the prepared tooth.
Final crowns can be made by a lab for optimal esthetics and matching, in which case a temporary crown is placed over the prepared tooth for 2 weeks while the final crown is being fabricated.
Final crowns can also be made in one day using a CEREC machine
HOW LONG DO CROWNS AND BRIDGES LAST?
Crowns and bridges can last a long time, from 10 years to a lifetime. A crown may need to be replaced when the underlying tooth structure gets a cavity, or the crown comes loose or falls out. The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown or bridge is to practice good oral hygiene. A crown or bridge can lose its support if the teeth or bone holding it in place are damaged by dental disease. Keep your gums and teeth healthy by Brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing daily.