Crowns and Bridges

Crowns (or caps are dental restorations that are made by a dental technician “the Lab”, placed over a tooth when conservative restorations are insufficient to restore form and function.

A bridge serves to replace a missing tooth or teeth. One type of bridge consists of crowns placed on either side of the missing tooth to connect the replacement tooth or teeth to them.

Another type of bridge consists of the replacement tooth attached to the adjacent teeth with wing-like appendages, called Maryland Bridge. Bridges can also be supported by dental implants.

Crowns and bridges can be made entirely of tooth-colored material, metal, or a combination to provide optimal aesthetics and structural durability. Some metal free crowns and bridges incorporate stressĀ­bearing materials to enhance their strength and wear resistance.

Is a Crown Right for Me?

Crowns address functional and aesthetic needs, restore tooth function, and enhance the overall health of your mouth. In cases where teeth have large broken-down fillings, a crown can protect and preserve the remaining natural tooth. To enhance your smile a new metal free, tooth colored crown can also replace an older metal/porcelain crown. Following root canal therapy, a crown is typically placed over the remaining tooth structure to prevent the hollowed out tooth from fracturing thus providing the structural durability needed to function normally once again.

Is a Bridge Right for Me?

In cases where teeth are missing, a bridge provides a replacement tooth to “fill in” the gap as well as it prevents the remaining natural teeth from shifting so that dental health and facial aesthetics are not compromised. Bridges may also provide a permanent, non removable alternative to removable partial or full dentures. Whether supported by natural teeth or implants, bridges can offer life like aesthetics and stable chewing surfaces. They can be easily maintained with modified brushing and flossing.

Before Crown After Crown

What Happens at the First Appointment?

With both crowns and bridges, the dentist needs to shape the teeth to provide stable support and precise fit of the final restoration.

Following tooth preparation, impressions are taken of the teeth, and a replica of your mouth is created for the dental laboratory to make the restoration. You and your dentist will carefully select the color, shape, and size of the crown(s) or bridge(s). A temporary restoration is secured to protect the prepared teeth and maintain the precise space left by the tooth until the new restoration is fabricated.

If an implant-supported crown or bridge is the best option, the dentist evaluates the patient’s health and suitability for the implant placement. The dentist may also proceed with surgical planning or refer the patient to a specialist trained in implant surgery. For details, see the ProActive Care brochure on Implants.

What Happens At The Second Appointment?

When the crown or bridge is fabricated, the dentist removes the patient’s temporary restoration, and tries on the crown or bridge to verify fit and patient approval. Once the restoration is adjusted and approved, the dentist uses a luting cement or an adhesive bonding agent to permanently secure the final restoration.

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Dr. McKenna (I've been a patient here since 1972), Dr. Dave and Judi are the BEST dental professionals on the peninsula, working with you to find the best solution for your dental needs. The staff handles all the paperwork with ease and efficiency. And you always get a little bag of "treatsā€!

Liz Martin