Dental crowns are dental installations that cover or “crown” an entire tooth. They are usually made of ceramic or porcelain and can be used to improve a variety dental issues. Common uses for crowns are to restore decayed teeth and to cover metal amalgam fillings with natural looking materials to match the surrounding teeth, providing a more natural appearance. Crowns can also be used to protect teeth weakened by root canal therapy or act as anchors for dental bridges.
A bridge is a pontic, also called a false tooth or teeth, typically anchored into the mouth with crowns, which is installed to “bridge” a gap between teeth. Common materials for bridge and crown construction include porcelain, gold, alloys or combinations of these materials. There are three kinds of bridges.Traditional bridges have crown anchors on two sides of the gap, with a false tooth or teeth in between to fill the gap left by missing teeth. Cantilever bridges only have an anchor on one side of the false teeth. Maryland bonded bridges consist of prosthetic teeth and gums and are supported by a metal framework, held in place with clips.
You will need to make two or three visits to the dentist for the full installation of bridges and/or crowns. The first visit usually involves an exam and discussion of the best option to meet your needs. A mold will be taken of the area to be treated with the prosthetic teeth. At the second visit, the dentist will prepare your teeth for the installation with a thorough cleansing, polishing and removal of enamel from the teeth to be fitted with crowns. This creates space around the tooth for the crown to fit flush with the tooth and without gaps with the neighboring teeth. A temporary cover will be fitted if the installations have not been completed. During your final visit, your dentist will fit and adjust your crowns and bridges to your teeth to ensure a proper fit. Then you will go home with an improved smile.
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