Crowns and Bridges Q & A
What’s a crown?
A crown is an artificial tooth placed over the existing structure of a damaged tooth in order to restore the tooth’s shape and size, reinforce its strength, or improve the appearance of your smile.
Crowns are made from a wide range of materials to suit different needs and budgets. Some of the more common materials for a crown are:
- Metal alloys
- Porcelain fused to metal
Porcelain and ceramic crowns can match the color of your teeth, making them virtually indistinguishable in your mouth, but they’re not as strong as gold or metal crowns, of which use in the back of the mouth is common where they’re needed to resist the wear-and-tear of chewing and grinding.
What’s a bridge?
A bridge is a prosthetic tooth-replacement device, like a crown, but whereas a crown replaces a single tooth, a bridge is used to replace multiple teeth. A bridge is made up of two crowns with an artificial tooth, called a pontic, in-between.
Like crowns, bridges come in a variety of materials, such as gold, metal alloys, and porcelain, all of which are designed to suit different needs, preferences, and budgets.
Why do I need a crown or bridge?
Many people with missing or damaged teeth get crowns and bridges to aesthetically enhance the appearance of their smile, but there are many non-cosmetic reasons why you might need a crown or bridge, such as:
- To protect a weak tooth from breaking
- To restore function to a broken or badly worn tooth
- To replace a tooth that’s lost a lot of substance due to a large filling
Additionally, crowns and bridges can fix many problems that are caused by missing teeth, such as:
- Impaired speech
- Difficulty eating
- Shifting or rotating teeth caused by gaps in the smile
Good oral health is dependent on having a full set of functioning teeth, and crowns and bridges allow you to literally fill in the gaps.
What’s the process for getting a crown or bridge?
If you and Dr. Pham decide that a crown or bridge would be beneficial to your oral health, you’ll come to the office for two procedures.
In your first visit, Dr. Pham numbs your tooth and the surrounding gum and files it down to make room for the crown, or crowns if you are getting a bridge. The remaining tooth material is referred to as an abutment. Next, Dr. Pham takes impressions of your mouth and fits you with a temporary crown while the impressions are being used to make a permanent crown or bridge.
In your second visit, Dr. Pham removes the temporary crown, assesses the color and fit of the permanent crown or bridge, and then cements it in place.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Pham today to learn more about your crown and bridge options. You can call his office, Crownridge Dental, or use the convenient online booking tool.