Crowns and bridges are common replacements for damaged, missing, or decayed teeth. Although it’s impossible to recreate your natural teeth, your dentist can provide a strong and accurate replica—usually made of porcelain or metal—that will act just like your original teeth and allow your mouth to look great and function normally.
If you’ve undergone dental surgery or suffered an injury that left your teeth in a damaged or weakened state, your dentist may recommend installing a crown to protect the remaining tooth and restore your mouth to its original functionality.
To place a crown, your dentist will:
- Take an impression to create a temporary tooth that looks like your natural teeth
- Create the temporary crown, or surface of the tooth, in a laboratory
- In the office, remove the damaged enamel from your natural tooth
- Afix the new crown onto the damaged tooth with cement
Placing a crown may take several dental visits as your dentist takes impressions, creates the crown, and prepares your mouth for the procedure. Your dentist may create a temporary crown to cover your tooth during the process of placing your permanent new crown.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, or have several damaged or decayed teeth, your dentist may recommend installing bridges to replace multiple teeth. Dental crowns can be used to anchor a bridge; the more gaps your dentist replaces with bridges, the more anchors he or she will create from crowns or your natural teeth. Your dentist will create a “frame” with artificial teeth made from impressions of your mouth, and anchor the bridge to your natural teeth.
Types of Bridges
- Extension Bridge: these bridges are attached to an artificial crown of an adjacent tooth to avoid tampering with too many of your natural teeth. Because the bridge has fewer anchors, this method has a higher risk of failure.
- Fixed Bridge: also called “partial dentures,” these bridges are anchored to an implant or natural tooth on either side of the frame. Although this method is more invasive than extension bridges, it carries a lower risk of failure once the frame is in place.
- Resin-bonded Bridge: your dentist will attach your artificial teeth to metal strips glued to the backs of a tooth on either side of the frame. This is the least invasive procedure, but the glue may wear away and loosen the frame over time.
Your dentist may recommend a crown or dental bridge if you’ve suffered an injury or dental surgery that weakened or damaged one or more of your teeth. Crowns and bridges can restore your mouth to its original strength, and can improve the aesthetic of your smile. If you’re interested in learning more about crowns or bridges, visit Steger Smiles today.