CROWNS & BRIDGES
Your dentist may recommend that your tooth needs a crown or a cap. This may occur if:
- you have a tooth with a very large filling and is at a high risk of fracturing
- you have a tooth that is extremely discoloured
- you have cosmetic concerns
Your dentist may recommend you may need a bridge. A bridge consists of 2 crowns with one or more artificial teeth in between them.
Bridges are used to replace missing teeth when the 2 teeth next to the space are suitable to have crowns placed.
Crowns and bridges are made in a laboratory and are usually made of ceramic, porcelain, or metals. The type of crown or bridge you need will be discussed with you by your dentist.
What to expect during a crown or bridge preparation appointment:
This usually takes 2 appointments approximately 2 weeks apart. At the first appointment your dentist will assess the tooth or teeth to make sure that it is suitable for a crown/bridge and then begin to shape the tooth in a shape that will retain the crown. Sometimes, if a tooth is severely broken down or damaged, a special filling or ‘core’ is placed to make it an appropriate shape for the crown to hold onto.
After the tooth is prepared, your dentist will take a mould or impression of your top and bottom jaw, as well as a bite record so that the laboratory can make a crown that is specific for your mouth and bite. In the meantime, you will have a temporary crown that protects the tooth until the final crown is cemented in place.
In the second appointment, the permanent crown will be cemented in. Prior to this, the temporary crown is removed and the tooth is cleaned. After this appointment, it may take a few days to get used to the feel of the crown in your mouth, but after a while the crown would feel, look and work just like a normal tooth.
Sometimes people may need lots of crowns or bridges especially after they have lost lots of teeth and their bite has changed dramatically. In these special cases, you may be referred to a specialist prosthodontist to have your dentition restored.