What is a crown? A crown (or cap) is a protective shell that is made out of gold or porcelain and encases the entire tooth in order to restore it to its original size and shape. A crown can make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance. Some reasons a crown may be required:
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Extensive decay which cannot be repaired with a simple filling
- Large existing filling
- Cracks that are visually evident and indicate that future fracture is imminent
- Root canal treated teeth
- Cosmetic enhancement
What should you expect if you need a crown?
Typically a crown procedure takes two appointments. At the first appointment, several highly detailed impressions are taken that will be used to create your custom crown. An impression will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two to three weeks until your new crown is custom-made by a dental laboratory.
After the tooth is numb, Dr. Kasper will carefully prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface of the tooth to properly fit the crown. Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly. At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be cemented with permanent cement.
A dental bridge is a good option to replace missing teeth. It is not removable and is permanently cemented in your mouth. Typically, bridges are made of porcelain fused to metal, but they can also be fabricated entirely of gold. A bridge consists of one crown that goes over a tooth at the front end of the empty space and one crown over a tooth at the back end of the empty space. These “anchor” teeth are then attached to artificial teeth, or pontics, that fill in the empty space and sit on top of the gums. Dental bridges are very durable and will last many years; however, they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear. Here are some reasons for a dental bridge:
- Fill spaces created by missing teeth
- Keep remaining teeth from drifting out of position
- Maintain or restore chewing and speaking ability
- Desire for a non-removable tooth replacement
What should you expect if you need a dental bridge?
Having a bridge placed typically requires two or more visits. After the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared to allow for a crown. Next, an impression is made to be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be custom-made to fit the prepared teeth. In the interim, a temporary bridge will be made for you to wear for several weeks until the permanent bridge has been fabricated. At the next visit, your permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit.