A dental crown is a type of cap that is surgically installed over a damaged tooth. Crowns are typically made from porcelain or ceramic, but can also be made from metals or composite materials. It covers a single tooth and is inserted over a damaged tooth, and slightly into the gum to secure the vulnerable tooth underneath.
The material the cap is made from can impact the strength, durability, appearance, and lifetime of the crown. The type of crown your dentist opts to use might be chosen based on the colour of the surrounding teeth, the extent of the damage on the original tooth, the location of the damaged tooth, and other factors as determined by your dentist.
Crowns can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years, depending on what material your dentist uses. They can be replaced, or they can be temporary ones that are used until the permanent crown is ready.
A bridge is a dental procedure used when one or more teeth are missing or removed. It is an artificial tooth that is linked to the teeth surrounding the missing tooth. A bridge is formed between the good teeth to fill the gap of missing teeth.
For example, if a patient has a missing tooth and is receiving a bridge to restore their smile, a bridge of three teeth is created, capping the two healthier teeth that are on either side of the gum with the missing tooth. The caps on the outside help to secure the bridge in the mouth, since there it cannot be anchored to the missing tooth where the gap is.
Bridges typically last around ten years but can last up to 15 when well-cared for. This also depends on what material is used for the bridge. They’re often made from porcelain or ceramic, while some dentists also use metal bridges, depending on the patient’s needs and specifics.
Both the crown and the bridge can help to restore one’s smile, make it easier to eat and chew food. They can also help keep the healthy teeth aligned in the mouth so they don’t shift into the gap. In fact, they can even help improve speaking issues that might result from a gap. In the event that a tooth is damaged, broken, chipped, decaying, missing, or needs to be removed, a patient might have the option of receiving a crown or a bridge.
To install a crown, your dentist may fit you with a temporary crown while waiting for the permanent crown to come in. They are shaped and fitted to match your mouth. When the permanent crown is ready, your dentist will use local anesthesia to eliminate pain and discomfort. Typically, a traditional crown will take at least two visits to have completed.
The dentist may work at the gum line to make space for the base of the crown to fit in. They will also shave and carve down on the damaged tooth so that it fits smoothly and safely underneath the cap. This includes removing any decay. Pain is minimal following the procedure and can be managed with guidance from your dentist.
For a bridge, your dentist may choose one of a few different types of bridges, depending on the number of teeth missing, the quality of the surrounding teeth needed for the bridge, the material to be used, and any other number of factors. The surrounding teeth will be shaped and filed by your dentist to fit the bridge, and they will use local anesthesia. It also takes a minimum of two visits to have done.
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