About crown and bridge dental work.
A crown is used on a tooth for many reasons. If a tooth has had a root canal, it will become fragile and brittle as compared to a tooth that has a live nerve. The tooth then needs the extra strength of a crown to sustain the forces we put on our teeth everyday. Other reasons include having large fillings that comprise over half of the tooth, fracturing a large portion of tooth, or replacing lost tooth structure.
Bridges are used as a way to replace missing teeth without having to worry about taking anything in or out of your mouth. There are a number of ways to replace missing teeth, and Dr. Schultz would be happy to go over them with you. We provide crown, bridge and other dental work at our Park Ridge dental office.
What is a dental crown?
A crown, is a fixture that is cemented to remaining tooth structure and is meant to fully function as a regular tooth. It acts to replace lost tooth structure and strengthen your tooth.
Once we determine that you are a fit candidate for a crown it will usually take two additional appointments until the process is complete.
On the first visit we will do one of two things. If the affected tooth has enough surface area to work with, the tooth will be prepped so that a crown may be placed over the top of it. If there is not enough structure left, Dr. Schultz will build the area up using specialized filler.
After this is complete, an impression is made of the tooth. Said impression is then sent off to the lab where highly trained technicians use the impression to create a custom made crown designed to fit snuggly in place.
The lab can take anywhere from 1 – 3 weeks to send over the finished crown. In the meantime a temporary crown will be placed over top of the affected tooth until the permanent one can be cemented in place during your second visit.
What is a bridge?
Creating a dental bridge is very similar to building a crown. However, with a crown only the affected tooth is prepped. Since the affected tooth is non-existent in the case of a bridge, the two teeth to the left and right or front and back of the gap are prepped instead.
From here we take the same type of impression as a crown which are sent to the lab. Within a few weeks your bridge will be back at our office ready to be permanently secured in place. In the meantime, a temporary bridge is constructed for your comfort.
One delivered, the bridge will be cemented to the two teeth on either side of the space. A “fake” tooth is attached to those two crowns to replace the missing tooth. The “fake”tooth gently touches the gums where the missing tooth once existed.
Care and maintenance
After being delivered, your crown or bridge should feel and look just like natural teeth. There may be some adjustments needed. It’s important to remember to treat them as such. Always brush and floss in-between your prosthetic teeth just as you do with your real ones.
It’s also important to keep up with your regularly scheduled dental appointments. This helps to avoid any future issues because the dentist is able to keep an eye on things to ensure strength and health of the prosthesis.
Finally, teeth grinding and clenching – a condition know as bruxism – is never a good thing. That problem is only compounded when crowns and bridges are thrown into the mix. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for those who suffer from this condition to go without noticing their troublesome grinding and clenching. If you’ve had similar issues in the past or if you feel you’re susceptible, please notify us so that proper precautions can be taken to guard your smile.