There are many reasons that patients come into our offices and may need a variety of different dental work. However, crowns and bridges continue to be some of the most common but misunderstood dental procedures that we complete. We wanted to clear up some of the confusion about these great dental tools so that you know more about what to expect from your appointment.
A crown is simply a covering for the tooth. A crown is typically used to help save the underlying tooth from further damage or decay. This approach can often be used when the tooth has been badly cracked, chipped, or if a root canal has been conducted. By completely encasing the exposed portion of the tooth, it helps to seal out any potential bacteria or infection from getting inside of the tooth.
Additionally, saving the natural structure and roots of the tooth offer better overall health for our patients than simply removing the tooth. When crowns are properly installed and cared for, they can offer a lifetime of protection and do not require any significant care procedures.
In order to place a crown over the tooth, the underlying tooth usually needs to be cut down so that the crown can fit over the top. This means that your dentist will need to reshape the tooth first. Once the tooth is shaped, a cast of the tooth will be made and sent to a lab to be created. This specifically designed crown can then be easily fit over the tooth and sealed in place. A properly fit crown should extend down to the gumline and line up properly with the neighboring teeth. Your dentist may need to make minor adjustments before applying adhesive to the crown.
or specific foods in the diet. Typically, teeth that have been worn down can also become discolored, and applying a whitening solution will not help to correct the issue. In this case, our staff will also be sure that the new crown specifically matches the color of the neighboring teeth.
Crowns can also be used to stop further cracking of the tooth. Dentists always want to save a tooth if they can. Stopping a crack before it gets worse is certainly a good option. Crowns that are properly fit can reduce the stress placed on the tooth and reduce future damage.
One other time that crowns can be used to help support a bridge. If a tooth has been knocked out from injury or accident, the neighboring teeth can often be damaged as well. If this is the case, your dentist will likely want to ensure the teeth that are anchoring the bridge are also properly cared for. A crown can help to protect the tooth and allow the bridge to be securely anchored for years to come.
Bridges are pieces of dental equipment that help to replace a missing tooth. The bridge utilizes a dental crown that is fastened to a special “harness” and then anchored to neighboring teeth to hold it in place. This helps to restore the appearance and function of the missing tooth without having to perform a surgery.
If you are considering options to protect your existing teeth from further damage or to replace missing teeth, call our office today to schedule a consultation. Our experienced and professional staff can help review your case and work with you to provide the best treatment option.