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Dental Crowns
and Bridges


Have you been hiding your smile due to missing one or more of your teeth? Rest assured, you are not alone. The American Dental Association (ADA) reports that most adults between the ages of 20 have an average of three decayed or missing teeth! With the advances in cosmetic and restorative dentistry procedures including dental crowns and bridges, you can now restore your missing teeth and your perfect smile!


Dental Crowns and Bridges Explained

Dental crowns and bridges are both fixed prosthetic devices that are cemented to existing teeth or implants, unlike removable devices such as dentures. They are two of the most used dental restorations today. Both crowns and bridges can be color and texture matched to existing teeth for natural-looking results.

A crown is used to encase a tooth for different purposes. It can work to strengthen a damaged tooth, or it can be attached to an implant to restore the look, feel, and function of a natural tooth. Crowns have many uses including protecting a weak tooth from fracturing, covering a tooth that has undergone root canal treatment, correcting a discolored or shaped tooth, attaching a dental bridge, or replacing a large filling when you do not have enough tooth structure remaining.

A bridge offers a great solution if you are missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by any missing teeth can cause neighboring teeth to shift, resulting in a bad bite otherwise known as a malocclusion. That, in turn, can lead to many different conditions including gum disease and a painful condition known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.


What Are the Types of Crowns?

Crowns made of metal can endure biting, and chewing forces and are durable, withstanding wear. They rarely break or chip, and can last for many years. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are color-matched to your teeth. Yet, they are not as strong and durable as their metal counterparts. All-resin dental crowns offer a less expensive option, but they wear down with time and are prone to fractures. Ceramic or porcelain crowns are durable restorations and provide a natural color match to surrounding teeth.

Inlays and Onlays are restorations used when a tooth suffers too much damage to support a filling, but not enough damage to warrant the use of a dental crown. Onlays are sometimes known as partial crowns. They are more conservative than traditional crowns on preserving tooth material and work to restore the natural look and function of damaged teeth.

Composite Bonding is the process of cementing a tooth-colored composite resin material to the tooth with the help of a curing light. It offers a more conservative approach to tooth restoration than dental crowns and is usually used to correct the appearance of a chipped or discolored tooth, to change the shape of a tooth, or to close spaces between teeth.


What Are the Types of Bridges?

Fixed Bridges come with one or more replacement teeth also called pontics. The pontics are attached to crowns on neighboring teeth, also known as abutments. Abutments can be either healthy teeth or implants covered by dental crowns. Fixed bridges are secured to abutments on both sides of the missing teeth.

Cantilever bridges are similar to fixed bridges but are attached to an abutment on only one side. Sometimes these bridges result in fractured teeth or loose crowns because they are do not have support on both sides.

Maryland bridges are the most conservative option, with pontics held in place by a framework attached to the back of two teeth neighboring your missing teeth. The main disadvantage of these bridges is that bonding can loosen over time.

What Is the Procedure for Getting Crowns or Bridges?

Placing a crown usually takes two visits to our office. We will first prepare your tooth by filing it down into a peglike shape. After making several impressions of your teeth, a dental laboratory will construct your restoration. We will place a temporary crown to protect your tooth while waiting for the lab to make your permanent one. When ready, we will cement your permanent crown onto your prepared tooth giving you the look and comfort of a natural tooth.

A bridge requires a similar process, with impressions being made of your mouth to construct your crowns and your dental bridge. After your crowns or abutments are in place, they are used as anchors for attaching your new bridge. Your new restoration will blend with your mouth, matching the look and color of your natural teeth.


Caring for Your Crowns and Bridges

Crowns and bridges are durable restorations, with the potential of lasting a lifetime. The most important measure you can take to ensure your new dental restorations last a long time is practicing good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing your teeth daily, and making sure to keep up with your routine checkups and cleanings will keep your mouth healthy, and ensure your crowns and bridges have healthy bone holding them in place. Preventing gum or dental problems will help keep that smile on your face for many years to come.


Schedule Your Appointment Today

Visit us at Dr. Sal’s dental practice to learn more about our dental restoration solutions and how they can improve the quality of your life. Our experienced and professional staff will work with you to determine the best treatment options for your unique needs. We look forward to helping you maintain a healthy mouth and to restore that beautiful, natural looking smile!