Crown and bridgework can restore a natural-looking smile when accidents, disease or wear and tear cause damage to teeth. Porcelain or porcelain-on-gold crowns are extremely reliable for long-lasting repair of even the most severe dental problems, including permanent replacement of missing teeth to give you a complete smile and a functional bite.
Crowns can also return full dental function and relieve unexplained pain due to hairline cracks in filled back teeth. In front teeth, older fillings can both weaken the teeth and cause staining or chipping. Porcelain crowns and bridges are suitable in cases where porcelain veneers are not. In teeth with root canal fillings, crowns can prevent breakage.
When done correctly, these treatments typically last 20 to 30 years —as close to permanent as any dental treatment gets.
Fitting a crown typically requires two visits to our office. During the first visit we will remove decay, shape the tooth, and fit it with a temporary plastic or metal crown. On your second visit we will remove the temporary crown, then fit, adjust and permanently place the final crown resulting in a new, natural-looking tooth.
All of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing and maintaining proper alignment of other teeth, not to mention your appearance, so it is vital to replace any that are lost.
A bridge is a device used to replace missing teeth, and attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth. Bridges can be attached permanently (fixed bridges), or they can be removable. Fixed bridges are bonded into place and can only be removed by a dental professional. Removable bridges, which are attached to the teeth with metal clasps or precision attachments, can be taken out and cleaned.
Fixed bridges (fixed partial dentures) offer more stability than their removable counterparts and are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance. They are applied by either placing crowns on the abutment teeth or by bonding the artificial teeth directly to the abutment teeth.
Restoring oral functionality is the most important reason for a bridge. When teeth – naturally designed to support each other – are missing, unusual stress is placed on the gums and other oral tissues, and there is a high risk of developing gum disease and a number of other potentially harmful disorders. A bridge can help prevent these problems when natural teeth are missing.
Appearance is another important reason for wearing a bridge, which helps to support your lips and cheeks. A missing tooth may cause your mouth to sink and your face to look older. Missing teeth can also cause speech disorders since they are used to make many of the sounds we use to speak clearly.
Constructing and attaching a bridge typically requires two or three appointments. At the first appointment we will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin. Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be constructed. Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth. Crowns, which are permanently attached to your natural teeth, provide support for the bridge.
Bridges can be constructed from gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often bonded to either precious or non-precious metal.
We believe that open communication between patient, doctor and staff builds a solid foundation for quality care and service. We encourage you to become proactively involved in your treatment and look forward to answering any questions you may have. Please contact our office at 215-822-1866 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org any time you have a question regarding your dental care.
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