A dental crown is a cap that is shaped like a tooth. This cap is permanently cemented over a damaged tooth, and permanently restores this tooth to its original strength, size, and shape. Furthermore, its appearance is improved. Crowns are designed to cover the visible portion of the tooth, right at the gum line. Crowns often are used to hold together broken, weak, or cracked teeth in order to keep them intact. Furthermore, crowns also attach a bridge, support large fillings, and cover deformed or discolored teeth. Also, crowns are used over dental implants.
Crowns generally take two dental visits to complete the installation. The first visit, the dentist readies the tooth—or implant—for the crown. This requires that the dentist grind and shape the tooth so that the crown will fit snugly over it. Afterward, the dentist creates a mold of the tooth and the outlying gums, and sends it into the laboratory for fabrication of the crown. The dentist fits a temporary crown over the tooth. When the permanent crown is ready, the temporary crown is removed, and the permanent one is securely attached.
Dental bridges are put in when a patient has a gap of one or more teeth. They are a series of connected teeth that are attached to supporting teeth on either side—or a dental implant if a support is not available. It generally takes more than one visit to the dentist to complete a dental bridge. First, your dentist must prepare the supporting teeth for the crown that will fit atop them. These crowns hold the missing tooth’s replacement, called the “pontic”. Afterward, an impression is taken, and it’s sent to a dental laboratory customizes a bridge. Then, a temporary dental bridge is placed to protect the gap and the supporting teeth, ensuring there is no change in your dental alignment. On the second visit, the permanent bridge is adjusted and installed.
You may feel pain after the bridge, and a mild discomfort when ingesting hot or cold substances, or biting on denser foods. Over-the-counter medications are recommended, like ibuprofen, such as is found in Advil. If symptoms persist more than a few days, your dentist is always available for an analysis. Your dental bridge can last only as long as you take care of the supporting gums, thus keeping up oral hygiene is extremely important. Ask your dentist for proper flossing and brushing methods.