Crowns and Bridges
A dental crown becomes necessary due to a weakened tooth because of decay or fracture. It can also be used for cosmetic purposes. A dental crown is placed by first grinding away the tooth so that it is smaller.
A crown or cap is then placed over the tooth and secured. If you are missing one or more teeth, your dentist may suggest the use of a fixed bridge and dental crowns. Since the gap left by a missing tooth can cause the remaining teeth to shift or move, it is important for your oral health to replace the missing tooth or teeth, and fixed bridges are one of the solutions for doing so.
A dental crown is an excellent way to extend the life of a tooth that has been weakened by decay or fracture. It is also useful for strengthening a tooth that has received root canal therapy as that tooth will gradually become brittle. When a crown covers that tooth, it is protected from fracturing.
To place a crown, your dentist must first reduce the size of your existing tooth so the crown will fit into the available space. A porcelain crown is then manufactured in a color that will match your other teeth. It will be molded into the exact right shape to fit with your other teeth. This crown is then fit over the prepared tooth and cemented securely into place.
With the new porcelain materials available, crowns look more than your natural teeth than ever before, even possessing a similar translucence to natural tooth material. With care, they can last for many decades.
Crowns serve a cosmetic purpose as well. When a smile has been damaged by severe decay or injury, crowns placed over visible teeth are an excellent way to preserve the teeth and present a greatly improved appearance.
Bridges consist of a pontic (artificial tooth) and crowns, which are ‘caps’ that go over the teeth on both sides of the bridge and serve as anchors to stabilize the bridge. Traditional bridges are usually made from porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
When one or more teeth are missing, a fixed bridge is a fast solution. If a missing tooth is not replaced one way or another, the open space will ultimately cause the remaining teeth to shift, which can damage one’s bite. Teeth adjacent to the missing tooth may also become loose, as the teeth depend on each other for support.
A dental bridge solves these problems. To place a bridge, there must be healthy teeth on either side of the empty space. A crown is placed over these adjacent teeth, and an artificial tooth or teeth (called pontics) fill the open space. Dental bridges are usually made from porcelain fused to metal or various ceramics.
If you think you might need a crown to protect a tooth or you are missing one or more teeth and would like to learn more about dental bridges, please call us at (317) 596-8000.
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