Cosmetic Crowns and Bridges
A dental crown, also known as a cap, is a covering that encases the tooth’s surface to restore its beauty and to give the appearance that the natural tooth is still there. The crown is also used to protect the remaining tooth structure that cannot be restored using filling materials or other restorations. While there is a plethora of different crown materials, porcelain is the most popular because it is designed to look and feel like real teeth; plus, porcelain is incredibly durable. If properly taken care of, the crown made using this material should last you many years without needing to be repaired or replaced.
Porcelain crowns are made in a local dental lab where they are designed to match your smile’s shape and color. Because of the care and attention to detail put into creating every dental crown, you can be sure that it will blend seamlessly with the rest of your teeth to create a beautiful and full smile.
Reasons to Have a Crown
During your dental appointment, the dentist will determine if a porcelain crown is needed. Here are some of the reasons this procedure may be recommended:
- You have a broken or severely cracked tooth
- You have recently had a root canal
- You are missing a tooth and have had an implant placed
- Your tooth is too far decayed for a filling
- You want to replace an older metal crown
- The tooth in question has a large filling that is compromising the tooth’s integrity
What Does the Procedure Involve?
Having a porcelain crown placed is typically done in two appointments. The first appointment involves the dental team taking impressions (or molds) of your teeth that will be sent off to the dental lab for the creation of your new porcelain crown. The tooth is then filed down to form an abutment where the crown will be placed. After the tooth is filed down, a temporary crown will be placed so that you can still eat and smile normally while you wait for your permanent crown to be finished.
The process of creating a porcelain crown takes about two weeks, so you can expect a second appointment to be made around this time. The second appointment involves removing the temporary crown and placing the permanent one using permanent cement. The new crown is then filed down accordingly if it is hitting upper or lower tooth surfaces. Once you are comfortable with the way the crown feels, you can leave the office and are encouraged to practice proper oral hygiene to maintain the life of your new dental restoration. Regular dental appointments will also help to check if the crown is loose or needs to be replaced.
Bridges can be recommended when you are missing one or more teeth. When a gap is left in the teeth, the teeth shift and try to move into the open space. Moving teeth can cause TMJ and gum disease, too.
Bridges are cemented to natural teeth or to implants to provide teeth to the empty spot in your mouth. The tooth that bridges are cemented to is called an abutment. The teeth that fill the space are called pontics. Pontics can be made to look just like your natural teeth. They are fully functional and look natural in your mouth.