A dental crown is a restoration that fits over the entire visible portion of a tooth, like a protective, tooth-colored jacket. Crowns are used to restore teeth that have large areas of decay or breakage or to hide large, dark fillings or deep stains. Crowns are also used to strengthen teeth treated with root canals and protect teeth supporting a dental bridge.
Crown application usually takes two visits. At the first visit, the tooth is prepared for the crown, a process that begins by removing a small portion of the tooth surface material to make room for the thickness of the crown material. Then an impression or mold is made of the tooth and sent to the lab where the crown will be created from durable, tooth-colored material. A temporary crown will be applied to protect the tooth until the second visit. At that appointment, the temporary crown will be removed and the permanent crown will be applied using a very strong adhesive, then buffed for a comfortable fit.
A dental bridge is a restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth. Dental bridges are made of a strong metal framework designed to support one or more artificial teeth (or crowns). While dentures rest on top of the gums, a bridge uses special clips or adhesives to attach to the teeth on either side. These teeth must be protected with crowns to help them bear the extra pressure exerted on the bridge. Bridges tend to be more popular than dentures because they offer a secure fit that’s not likely to slip or slide like a denture. You can also remove dental bridges to make brushing and flossing easier.
First, the neighboring teeth are prepared for crowns and an impression is taken of the entire area, including the gap and supporting teeth. The impression is sent to a lab and temporary crowns are placed on the supporting teeth to protect them from damage. At the second procedure, the crowns and bridge will be placed at the same time and adjusted for a comfortable fit.
With proper care including regular dental checkups, crowns and bridges can last for a decade or longer.
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