Crown and bridge work
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. Prosthetic crowns
are made of metal, porcelain fused to metal substrates,
or new all-white restorative materials. 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
Crowns are also used to support a large filling when there
isn't enough of the tooth remaining, attach a bridge, protect
weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth,cover
badly shaped or discolored teeth or protect a root-canal
filled tooth with compromised strength.
Procedure in fabricating a crown
The tooth is numbed with an anesthetic and prepared for
the crown by removing any decay or weakened areas. The remaining
tooth structure is then reshaped to meet proper crown preparation
design. If necessary, a restorative material, usually a
composite resin, is added to the remaining tooth structure
to ensure that the prosthetic crown will have a good foundation.
This procedure is called a "build-up." After
the tooth is prepared, an impression of teeth and gums is
made and sent to the lab for the crown fabrication. On the
next visit, the dentist cements the permanent crown onto
the tooth. During the second appointment, the new crown
is placed on the tooth. Adjustments may be required to exact
the perfect fit, so that the crown will feel comfortable
in the mouth and will conform to the bite.
When the crown fits seamlessly and contacts the neighboring
teeth correctly, the crown is cemented on the tooth. The
dentist's main goal is to create crowns that look like natural
teeth. That is why dentists 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 dentist at your initial visit. When
the procedure is complete, your teeth will not only be stronger,
but they may be more attractive.
A bridge is a dental appliance that replaces one or more
natural missing teeth, thereby "bridging" the
space between two teeth. Bridges are cemented into place
on the "abutment" teeth--the surrounding teeth
on either side of the space or span. Unlike removable partial
dentures, bridges cannot be taken out of the mouth by the
patient.A bridge is a device that typically consists of
three or more units-a pontic (a false tooth) fused between
two crowns that are cemented onto the abutment teeth.
Suggestions and precautions for crown and bridge
- Adjustment period: It is ok for the
bridge to feel a little out of place for a few days after
cementing. This is because the teeth around this area
are adjusting to new forces both in between the teeth
and upon biting.
- Preventive Procedures: To provide
optimum longevity for your restorations and to prevent
future decay and supporting-tissue breakdown, please use
the following home care tips:
- Brush after eating and before bedtime
around the bridge with a soft toothbrush, especially where
the crown or bridge meets the gum line (margin). At this
margin area harmful bacteria can be harbored to cause
decay and gum disease.
- Floss at least once to twice a day
to remove plaque under and around these areas to maintain
good oral hygiene. On a bridge you must clean “under”
as well as around the bridge. If you do not control the
buildup of food debris and plaque your teeth and gums
can become infected.
- Fluoride rinse is to be used before
bed. Swish the fluoride rinse vigorously in your mouth
for at least one minute. Do not swallow any of the rinse
and do not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes.
- Use a proxybrush (interdental brush)
to clean around the area after each meal
- Chewing: Do not chew hard foods on
the restorations for 24 hours from the time they were
cemented — to attain optimum strength, the cement
must mature for approximately 24 hours Also avoid eating
or chewing on hard objects, food or ice
- Sensitivity: Do not worry about mild
sensitivity to hot or cold foods. This sensitivity will
disappear gradually over a few weeks. Infrequently, sensitivity
last longer than six weeks.
- Problems: Call us immediately
if any one of these conditions occurs: If the tooth is
the first tooth to hit when you bite down after a couple
of days, contact us for an adjustment; a feeling of movement
or looseness in the restoration; sensitivity to sweet
foods; a peculiar taste from the restoration site; breakage
of a piece of material from the restoration or sensitivity