Teeth don’t always last forever. Sometimes fractures, tooth decay, or failing restorations result in the need for more comprehensive or replacement treatments to restore that portion of the mouth.
Crowns are full coverage restorations that restore the full portion of the tooth that is above the gumline. They cover the top and all sides of the tooth, protecting the compromised tooth structure underneath. They often accompany root canal treatments, and are used as the last restorative line of defense when fillings are inadequate. Most of the time they are used when there is not enough healthy tooth structure to support a smaller restoration, like a new filling.
Bridges span from one tooth to another, filling in areas of one or two missing teeth between them. There are functional crowns on either end of the restoration, with false crowns being suspended between them.
Bridges and crowns are meant to function the same way regular teeth do, and can withstand normal biting forces. Typically made of porcelain, they can also be made of gold if needed, as gold is known to withstand biting forces very well in the back areas of the mouth where more pressure is used. They can also be placed on dental implants when used for the replacement of missing teeth, preventing otherwise healthy, adjacent teeth from needing treatment.
Treatment for crowns and bridges usually takes 2 appointments. The first visit is to prepare the tooth being treated, and then for an impression to be taken which is sent off to the dental laboratory. About 2 weeks later, the permanent prosthesis is ready for delivery and just a short appointment is needed to permanently cement it into place.
Posted on behalf of David Kurtzman
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