Crown & Bridges

Crown

A crown is a tooth-shaped cover placed over a tooth that is badly damaged or decayed. A crown is made to look like your tooth. Many people call it a cap.

How crown is better than other tooth saving options?
  • Usually the tooth has been broken or damaged a great deal by decay. As a result, a filling can't replace enough of the tooth or make the tooth strong enough.
  • Rct treated teeth require to be protected by crown.
  • A crown may hold together parts of a cracked tooth.
  • It also can be used to hold a bridge in place.
  • Crowns can be used to improve appearance as well. They may be placed to cover misshapen or badly discolored teeth.
  • Crowns can be made ahead of time (prefabricated) or made to order in a laboratory. Prefabricated crowns are made of plastic or stainless steel. They can be used on a temporary basis until a permanent crown is made.
ADVANTAGE
  • Cost effective
  • Cheaper than implants
  • Patient compliance
  • Painless procedure
  • Range of materials available
DISADVANTAGE
  • A portion of sound tooth is sacrificed
  • May be costlier depending on choice of material
What are materials used to fabricate a crown?
  • Crowns can be all metal.
  • Porcelain fused to metal (PFM)
  • Or all ceramic.

Metals include gold alloy, other alloys (palladium) or a base-metal alloy (nickel or chromium). The all-metal or PFM crowns are stronger and are better choices for back teeth than ceramic crowns.

PFM and all-ceramic crowns are the same color as your natural teeth. They look just like normal teeth.

How long a crown will last?

Crowns usually last at least seven years. In many cases they last much longer, up to 40 years or so.

WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE?
Preparing the Tooth

If you need a crown, you may also need endodontic or root canal treatment on the tooth. Such treatment may be recommended if you have a lot of decay in the tooth or a risk of infection or injury to the tooth's pulp. Not everyone who needs a crown will also need a root canal.

Before placing a crown, we may need to build up a foundation to support it. A foundation is needed if large areas of the tooth are decayed, damaged or missing. If you are receiving the crown after root canal treatment, we may insert a post-and-core foundation.

To place a crown, we will file down the tooth to make room for the crown. If you are receiving an all-metal crown, less of the tooth needs to be removed because these crowns can be made thinner than PFM or ceramic ones.

After filing down the tooth, we will use a piece of thread or cord to push down the gum around the tooth. Then we will make an impression (copy) of the tooth with a rubber-like material. The impression material sets in about five minutes. Then it is removed. we will also take an impression of the teeth above or below the tooth that will receive the crown. The purpose is to make sure the crown will fit into your normal bite.

The impressions are sent to the lab, where the crown is made. During that time, you will have a temporary crown placed. These crowns are usually made of plastic. They are made in advance by the laboratory or made by the dentist during your preparation visit. Then the dentist fits the temporary crown to your tooth.

These crowns are not meant to last for a long time. In some cases, however, a temporary crown can stay in place for a year or longer. If it needs to last longer, a lab-made plastic crown is best. It is stronger and will last longer than a temporary plastic crown that is made by the dentist.

Temporary cement is used to keep the crown in place. It is special cement that is designed to be weak. This allows your dentist to easily remove the temporary crown at each visit as your permanent crown is fitted.

At a second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and test the permanent one. Sometimes crowns need additional polishing or glazing or some other adjustment before they are placed. Once the crown is ready, it's cemented to your tooth.

After a Crown

You shouldn't feel any discomfort or sensitivity after a crown is placed. However, if your tooth has not had a root canal it will still contain the nerve. You may therefore have some temporary sensitivity to heat and cold. If you notice pain or sensitivity when you bite down, contact us. Usually this means that the crown is too high. This can be adjusted easily.

You may notice a thin, dark line next to the gumline on your crowned tooth if you look very closely in the mirror, particularly if you have a PFM crown. This dark line is the metal of the crown showing through and is normal.

A crowned tooth is protected from decay, except for the gum line. We may prescribe a high-fluoride gel for you to use every night to protect against decay. A crown does not protect against gum disease. You should continue practicing good oral hygiene.

Bridges

A bridge is made to replace one or more missing teeth. Bridges can be supported by natural teeth, by a combination of teeth and implants or just by implants. A traditional bridge is made by creating a crown for each tooth on both sides of the space and placing a false tooth between the crowns. The crowns can be supported by natural teeth or by implants. When the crowns are placed, the false tooth fills the space left by the missing tooth or teeth.

If the teeth receiving the crowns are healthy and strong, they probably will not need root canal therapy. However, parts of the teeth will be removed so the crowns will fit. Traditional bridges are made either of porcelain fused to metal (PFM) or ceramics.

Getting a bridge requires at least two visits: the first to prepare the teeth to be crowned and make impressions, and the second to place the bridge. Bridges last at least five to seven years, often longer.

ADVANTAGE
  • Permanent fixed prosthesis
  • You will feel convenient and confident as it won’t slip while eating or speaking.
  • Better than removal prosthesis both in function as well as esthetic.

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