A crown or cap is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface, restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens a tooth’s structure when it cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations when decay has advanced to the point where large portions of the tooth must be removed. Crowns can also be used as abutments for a fixed bridge to restore your smile after tooth loss.
Bridges are non-removable appliances that can fill in the gap caused by missing teeth. They are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. Unlike removable partial dentures, dental bridges are fixed and cannot be taken out by the patient.
How Is a Crown Placed?
A crown is a restoration that covers the entire visible portion of the tooth above the gum line. The crown restores the tooth’s shape, size, strength, and appearance. Unlike a filling that replaces only part of a tooth’s structure, a crown encases the entire tooth.
Before the dentist can place the crown, they must prepare and take impressions of the tooth. This impression is sent to a professional lab technician who fabricates the custom-fitted crown. While you wait for the new restoration to arrive, you’ll wear a temporary crown made of acrylic resin. Once the permanent crown is ready, you’ll return to our office to have it placed over the tooth.
Need for a Crown
If a tooth has a large filling or when the tooth is cracked or broken close to the gum line, a crown is usually recommended to save the tooth from extraction. A crown can help strengthen the tooth and protect it from further damage.
A crown can also improve how a tooth looks. For example, if your tooth is misshapen or has dark metal margins where old amalgam fillings used to be, a crown will cover it up and make the tooth look more natural, giving you a more youthful appearance.
What Is a Bridge?
A bridge is made up of crowns fused together with a false tooth (or set of teeth) to replace one or more missing teeth in a row. The crowns fit over the existing adjacent teeth to hold the bridge in place.
There are two main types of bridges: fixed and removable. Fixed bridges are attached to surrounding teeth and can’t be removed by the patient. Removable bridges can be taken out for cleaning. They attach to the surrounding teeth with metal clasps.
Bridges require a few trips to our dental office to complete. During the first visit, our dentist will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap for the bridge and take an impression of the area to be sent to the lab. Once the bridge is fabricated, we will place it in the mouth and check its fit to ensure your natural bite isn't affected. After making any necessary changes, we will bond it permanently to the adjacent teeth using dental adhesives.
Caring for a Dental Bridge
Bridges are durable and can last many years when cared for properly by the patient. Caring for your bridge is very similar to caring for your natural teeth. You need to brush and floss regularly to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. You also need to visit the dentist twice a year for professional cleanings.
To find out more about the dental services offered at our dental practice, call (714) 635-5500 or schedule a consultation online. You can also visit us at 50 S Anaheim Blvd Ste. 94, Anaheim, CA 92805.