Crowns and Bridges
Dental crowns and bridges are two types of dental prosthetics used to restore decayed, damaged, or missing teeth. A dental crown is basically a cap that sits over a single tooth and serves to protect the affected tooth. A dental bridge is used to restore one or more missing teeth and is composed of two dental crowns on either side of the gap with a pontic, or fake tooth, between them. In cases with multiple missing teeth, multiple pontics may be used or alternative restoration methods may be recommended.
Did You Know?
The first ancient civilization to use dental crowns as a restoration method was the Italians. Back in that time, gold, ivory, and bone were used as the dental materials of choice for dental crowns.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for a dental crown or dental bridge?
If you have a single tooth that is damaged (cracked or chipped) or decayed, you may be a candidate for a dental crown. In cases where a large filling or a root canal is needed, a dental crown may also be suggested. Additionally, candidates for a dental crown may be those who are looking to alter the contour or color of a tooth.
If you have a single or a few missing teeth, you may be a candidate for a dental bridge. However, to place a dental bridge, the teeth on either side of the gap left by a missing tooth or teeth must be completely intact and able to support a dental bridge.
To find out if you are an ideal candidate for either a dental crown or a dental bridge, schedule a consultation with Dr. Jerry Kronquist and Dr. Amanda Rae Kronquist of Sunset Dental Group today.
What are the different types of dental crowns?
Dental crowns can be manufactured from a variety of dental materials including:
- Stainless steel: primarily used on primary teeth in children or as a temporary restoration
- Metal: can be used in the back of the mouth and are made from gold, platinum, or base metal alloys like cobalt chromium or nickel chromium
- Porcelain fused to metal (PFM): uses a porcelain exterior fused to a metal base
- All-resin: made from dental composite resin and can be color matched to your natural tooth color
- All ceramic or all porcelain: can also be matched to your natural tooth color and provides additional strength
The material you choose for your dental crown will depend upon a number of factors including aesthetic goals, budget, the location in your mouth, and oral hygiene habits. Each material has its own pros and cons, so these factors will help you to choose the best material for your dental crown. During your initial consultation, the various types of dental crowns will be discussed with you to determine what type of crown will suit your needs the best.
What are the different types of dental bridges?
Just as there are different types of dental crowns, there are also different types of dental bridges. However, unlike dental crowns, dental bridges are differentiated by their structural differences rather than the material they are made from. With that being said, there are four different types of dental bridges:
- Traditional: the most common type of dental bridge that uses a fake tooth with one dental crown on both sides.
- Cantilever: similar to a traditional bridge, however this type only uses an anchor crown on one tooth. This type is rarely used because it puts a great amount of strain on the anchor tooth, but it can be used safely towards the back of the mouth.
- Maryland Bonded: similar to a traditional bridge, however this type uses a metal framework bonded to the backs of anchor teeth instead of dental crowns.
- Implant-Supported: similar to a traditional bridge, however this type uses dental implants as the anchor points rather than dental crowns.
What is the procedure for placing dental crowns and bridges at Sunset Dental?
The procedure for placing dental crowns and bridges is split into two appointments at Sunset Dental. The first appointment is necessary for preparing the teeth and obtaining a dental impression for the dental laboratory. The second appointment is necessary for fitting and placing the permanent restoration, except in cases where the dental crown is milled in-office. Then there is no need for a second appointment.
During your first appointment, your mouth will be anesthetized to keep you comfortable. If desired, you may also be sedated to keep you calm. Once you have been made comfortable, our dentists will begin by removing any decayed tissue from your tooth. Then, they will reshape the outer portion of the tooth so that a dental crown can fit on top. If you are having a dental bridge placed, then this part of the procedure will be repeated for both teeth on either side of the gap.
After the tooth or teeth have been appropriately shaped, a dental impression will be taken and sent to a dental laboratory. In some cases, dental crowns may also be milled in our office. If you are waiting for a dental lab to make your permanent restoration, then a temporary crown or bridge will be placed and you will return in a few weeks for your permanent crown or bridge. If you are getting a dental crown from our in-office milling machine, the permanent crown will be placed.
Do I need to follow any special guidelines after having my dental crown or bridge placed?
If you are fitted with a temporary crown or bridge, then you will need to be extra careful until your permanent restoration is placed. Temporary restorations are not made for permanent use, therefore they do not have the same level of durability and are more likely to break, become loose, or fall off. To prevent this from happening, we recommend that you avoid chewing on the same side as the temporary. You should also avoid eating foods that are very hard, chewy, or sticky with a temporary and exercise caution when eating these foods with a permanent crown or bridge. Other than that, permanent dental crowns and bridges do not require any special guidelines.
To learn more about dental crowns & bridges, schedule a consultation with Dr. Jerry Kronquist and Dr. Amanda Rae Kronquist of Sunset Dental Group today. Sunset Dental Group serves Santa Ana and other central Orange County communities.