Crowns And Bridges
Bridges are natural-looking dental appliances that can replace a section of missing teeth. Because they are custom-made, bridges are barely noticeable and can restore the natural contour of teeth as well as the proper bite relationship between upper and lower teeth.
Bridges are sometimes referred to as fixed partial dentures, because they are semi-permanent and are bonded to existing teeth or implants. There are several types of fixed dental bridges (cannot be removed), including conventional fixed bridges, cantilever bridges and resin-bonded bridges. Unlike a removable bridge, which you can take out and clean, your dentist can only remove a fixed bridge. .
Porcelain, gold alloys or combinations of materials are usually used to make bridge appliances.
Appliances called implant bridges are attached to an area below the gum tissue, or the bone.
Crowns are synthetic caps, usually made of a material like porcelain, placed on the top of a tooth.
Crowns are typically used to restore a tooth's function and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal. When decay in a tooth has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed, crowns are often used to restore the tooth.
Crowns are also used to attach bridges, cover implants, prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse, or an existing filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislocated. Crowns also serve an aesthetic use, and are applied when a discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance.
A tooth must usually be reduced in size to accommodate a crown. An impression is then made from the existing tooth to create a custom-designed crown. The impression is sent to a special lab, which manufactures a custom-designed crown. In some cases, a temporary crown is applied until the permanent crown is ready. Permanent crowns are cemented in place.
Crowns are sometimes confused with veneers, but they are quite different. Veneers are typically applied only to relatively small areas.
Caring For Your Crowns
With proper care, a good quality crown could last up to eight years or longer. It is very important to floss in the area of the crown to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration.
Certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) significantly shorten the life of a crown. Moreover, eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the adhesion of the crown, or even damage the crown.
- Please do not consume caffeine the night before or the day of your appointment. The caffeine works against the anesthesia.
- Numbness to your lip, tongue and palate (roof of your mouth) may persist for several hours. Do not chew gum, eat or drink hot liquids or smoke until the anesthesia have worn off completely. This will prevent you from biting you from accidently biting or burning yourself.
- Soreness may occur around the tooth or teeth that have been temporarily crowned and or bridged. The injections sites and jaw joint may be sore, if this happens, apply moist heat to the affected area and take a non-aspirin containing pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil) or Tylenol-as long as you do not have allergic or medical conditions that prevent using these pain relievers.
- A temporary restoration made out of acrylic or thin metal has been placed on your tooth. Avoid sticky or crunchy foods to avoid loosening or fracturing this restoration.
- If the bite feels “high” on the temporary restoration, please call the office to have it adjusted. Failure to do so can result in a toothache or fracture of the temporary.
- Brush your temporary restoration daily. When flossing, slide the floss out from between the teeth instead of lifting it back out to avoid loosening the temporary.
- If the temporary restoration loosens, please call the office to have it re-cemented. If you are not able to come in, a thin layer of denture adhesive can be applied inside the crown or bridge. This will hold the crown or bridge in temporarily.
- The office will call you once we have received your permanent crown or bridge to make an appointment to have it cemented.
- When the final crown or bridge is placed, brush and floss accordingly. Do not chew ice, or other hard objects or continue deleterious habits, such as biting on Popsicle sticks, pens, finger nails, etc. Use a sensitive toothpaste with fluoride if you begin to have hot or cold sensitivity. Also if the bite is “high”, please call the office to have the crown or bridge adjusted.
- On occasion, damage to the pulp of the tooth may occur following the restorative procedure due to a variety of reason. If this occur, further treatment such as a root canal may be necessary.
- Regular dental exams are important to maintain the function and appearance of the crown and or bridge.