If you have one or more missing teeth, severely decayed teeth, or need a tooth extraction, your dentist may recommend a crown and bridge to fill the gap between your healthy teeth.
You may wonder what exactly is a crown and tooth bridge, and what makes it different from other procedures to replace missing teeth?
Let’s start with the crown
A crown is an essential component of dental restoration, but you can also have a crown without a bridge.
When a tooth has a large crack, is broken, decaying, or damaged from a large filling or root canal work, we may recommend a crown. A crown (or “cap”) is a hollow tooth that is placed over the damaged tooth like a sleeve. A crown protects the tooth from further damage.
Crowns are custom-made so the surface will look and feel like a natural tooth. We even take care to match the colour of the surrounding teeth, so no one will notice a difference! For this reason, crowns are sometimes even requested by our clients to cover over a large filling.
Crowns and tooth bridges
While you can have a bridge without a cap to replace missing teeth, the most common procedure is the crown and tooth bridge. Unlike dentures, a bridge is permanent and cannot be removed.
During the procedure, your dentist will place crowns on the two teeth on either side of the gap in your mouth. Then artificial teeth or the “bridge” will be placed to fill in the missing teeth. The bridge is anchored in place on either end to the crowns.
What’s involved in a crown and bridge procedure?
A crown and tooth bridge can take several appointments to complete. The typical procedure involves the following:
First visit – prepare the area and place temporary crowns and tooth bridges
- If you have healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth or gap, your dentist will file them down to prepare for the bridge. If your existing teeth aren’t healthy enough to support a bridge, your dentist may recommend a dental implant.
- The dentist will take an impression of your teeth (or a mould) of your existing teeth. This mould will be used to make the crown and tooth bridge.
- Your dentist will then place a temporary bridge over the area to protect the exposed teeth and gums.
Between your first and second visits, your dentist will have a cap and tooth bridge custom-made for you, matching the existing teeth colour and shape.
Second visit – placing the custom-made crowns and tooth bridges
When the custom-made bridge is ready (usually in a few days), you will return to your dentist to have it placed in your mouth.
First, your dentist will place the crown and tooth bridge in your teeth with a light adhesive to check if it fits comfortably. They will make adjustments to the crown and tooth bridge until it feels natural in your mouth. Ideally, you should feel no difference between the cap and tooth bridge and your original teeth.
Once you’re happy with the feel of the crown and tooth bridge, the crowns are cemented into the healthy teeth or implants, holding the bridge firmly in place.
How do I care for crown and bridge?
You care for your crown and tooth bridge pretty much like usual. Flossing, brushing and regular visits to the dentist for professional cleanings are important, just like with your regular teeth.
Flossing will be a little different for your bridge, however. Your dentist or dental hygienist will show you how to use a floss threader to floss under and around the teeth in the bridge to make sure your teeth and gums stay healthy.
How long will crowns and tooth bridges Last?
If you properly care for your crowns and tooth bridges, it can last 10 years or more.
Other options besides crowns and tooth bridges
There are other options besides a crown and tooth bridge to replace missing teeth. You may want to ask your dentist if dentures or dental implants are possibilities for you. Each option has different benefits and drawbacks, and it is important for you to be informed about your dental procedures.
Do you need a crown and tooth bridge? Contact Cranberry Hill Dentistry, your Waterdown dentist, today!
You can talk to us about a crown and bridge, or other options to replace your missing teeth. At Cranberry Hill Dentistry, we provide dental care for people living in Waterdown, Burlington and Hamilton and beyond. In addition to crown and tooth bridge work, our services include teeth whitening, tooth extraction, Invisalign braces…plus, of course, regular checkups and cleaning! Dr. Aaron Langdon and his friendly staff are committed to making you feel welcome, relaxed and comfortable to visit for all your family dentistry needs.
Contact us at our Waterdown dental office by calling 905-689-9551 or filling out the form below.
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