Crowns & Bridges

What is a crown?

Crown restorations cover and protect teeth that have been weakened by decay, prior restorations, or root canal therapy. Crowns can also be placed to change the bite or for cosmetic purposes. Crowns usually require two visits to complete treatment.

At the first visit, Dr. Tracy will reduce the size of the tooth. This makes room for the crown itself to fit on the remaining portion of the tooth, called the preparation. After the reduction is completed, an impression, or mold, of the preparation is made using a rubbery material.

A plastic temporary crown is held on the tooth with temporary cement while the crown is being custom made by a dental laboratory. The second visit involves gently removing this temporary crown and cementing the new custom-made, permanent crown in place.

crown2

What is a bridge?

Dental bridges literally “bridge” the gap created by one or more missing teeth. They involve three or more custom-made crowns that are connected together to fit this space. Bridges are cemented or “fixed” in place so they do not come out of the mouth.

Bridges are made of similar material to crowns and are very natural-looking; it will appear that there is a tooth in the space. They are very functional – you can chew on them like a natural tooth and they prevent teeth from tipping into the space where the tooth is missing.

The procedure for a bridge is very similar to that of a crown mentioned above. The first visit, the surrounding teeth are reduced (made slightly smaller) to make space for the bridge. You will go home with a temporary bridge that day that will fill the space. The second visit, we gently remove the temporary bridge and cement the permanent bridge.

What can I expect?

You can expect some soreness around the tooth/teeth, especially on the gums. Give this area a break from chewing for a couple days to allow the area to heal. After this time, if it hurts to bite on this tooth/teeth, please call us so we can help you. At your visit, we will inform you of any other symptoms you can expect that are specific to your teeth!