What are dental crowns?
A dental crown is a cap that surrounds the tooth. We typically use a crown to restore a damaged tooth, but they can also use it to improve the appearance of a smile. A crown can consist of three different materials, all-metal, ceramic-on-metal and all-ceramic. The location of the crown in the teeth will determine the best material to use. For example, front teeth need to have an all-ceramic crown, if possible, since it looks the most natural. Patients may often use ceramic-on-metal crowns since they look natural but have the durability that only metal can provide.
What are dental bridges?
A dental bridge is way to replace a missing tooth in situations where an implant or removable denture is not appropriate. A bridge is a fixed, nonremovable way to replace a missing tooth by attaching an artificial tooth to a crown on either side of the missing tooth. It can be thought of as three or more crowns splinted together except that where the tooth is missing, the replacement crown is not supported by a tooth underneath it but instead is suspended over the gums where the tooth is missing by its fusion to the adjacent crowns.
Before the Procedure
Dental crowns and bridges are considered indirect restorations. The final restoration is made outside of the office and therefore two dental appointments are needed. The first to prepare the tooth or teeth for the restoration, record the exact shape of the prepared tooth via an impression or scan and create a temporary restoration that is worn until the final restoration is made. The second to deliver the final restoration, usually about two weeks later.
Newport Beach, California Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges
When getting dental crowns and dental bridges installed, it is advisable that you work with a cosmetic dentist that knows how to complete the procedure in a way that looks natural. At Smrecek Dentistry, we can do so while also working to keep our patients as comfortable as possible by using sedation dentistry. The process for both procedures is fairly similar. Before getting started, an impression is taken of the teeth so that the new crown or bridge can be created in a dental lab.
When placing a dental crown around a tooth, Smrecek Dentistry starts by preparing the tooth. We will need to remove a portion of the enamel so that there is room for the new crown to surround the tooth without pushing other teeth out of place. Once complete, we will clean the tooth and secure a temporary crown to it using removable glue. Patients typically wear a temporary crown for around two weeks while waiting for a permanent one to be created in the lab. During this time, it is important to be careful with what you eat and how you brush your teeth since the temporary is designed to come off.
When the dental restoratives are complete, patients return to our Newport Beach dentist office, so that we can remove the temporaries and bond the permanent ones to the tooth. For a dental crown, we will secure the cap around the tooth and complete it through dental bonding. With a bridge, a crown is placed on the two teeth that are surrounding the missing one. On top of the crown is a piece that looks like natural gums that will hold the new tooth in place. These two crowns serve as anchors for this synthetic “bridge” and makes a new tooth as durable as it can be. Patients depend on this procedure as a way to replace missing teeth in a way that looks natural and restores the functionality of the missing tooth.