The sturdier the better.
Some people may experience broken, worn down, damaged, or lost teeth throughout their lifetime. When this occurs, dental crowns and bridges can be used to protect and support these teeth for a strong, stable smile.
Dental crowns and bridges are artificial devices that are fixed into the mouth. They are not removable, like dentures, and are cemented onto existing teeth or implants.
A dental crown is basically a helmet for your damaged tooth. Crowns are used to restore a tooth’s size, shape, strength, and aesthetic appearance. A dental crown may be needed for many reasons, including:
- To restore a broken or worn tooth
- To protect a weak tooth
- To cover a tooth with large fillings for better protection
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To cover a dental implant
- To cover discolored or misshapen teeth
Crowns can be made up of a variety of materials, including stainless steel, all metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all ceramic, or all resin. Paloma Dental places porcelain crowns almost exclusively due to their outstanding longevity and aesthetics.
A dental bridge is used to replace one or several lost teeth. It is made up of two or more anchoring crowns, called “abutment crowns,” with a middle tooth that “bridges” the existing teeth. Dental bridges can be supported by implants or natural teeth. Bridges can restore a smile and the ability to chew and speak properly, maintain the shape of the face, and prevent teeth from drifting out of position.
Before a crown or bridge is created, the tooth must be reduced so that the bridge or crown will properly fit over it. Many people find the loss of tooth alarming, but it is necessary to restore strength. After this, the dentist will take an impression of the treatment area to create an exact mold for the bridge or crown. Traditionally, plastic molds are made of the teeth, but Paloma Dental uses digital impressions which are easier for you and provide a more accurate crown. A temporary crown or bridge will be placed while the permanent crown or bridge is being created. When it is ready, the temporary one will be removed and the new crown or bridge will be cemented over the prepared tooth. Paloma Dental works to get you the permanent crown as quickly as possible and at a time that is most convenient for you, often cementing crowns after you have completed work for the day.
Nothing in dentistry today is as good as a natural tooth, so it is important to keep your new crown or bridge extra clean to avoid further cavities. Since a bridge has a space underneath it, it is important to weave floss under the bridge or use a water flosser to remove any debris that could accumulate underneath. Crowns and bridges can still develop cavities along the edges of them, so it is important to maintain a strong flossing habit to clean the gum line area, where your natural tooth is still exposed.