What You Need to Know About Crowns and Bridges

Has your dentist recommended that you make a few improvements to your smile? A dental crown or a bridge can be a great way to brighten up your smile or correct major issues. Some people are afraid of what this might mean and that’s why it’s so important to educate yourself about what crowns and bridges really are. Here is everything you need to know before you head out to the dentist:

What is a Dental Crown? 

One of the most common dental procedures is crown placement; essentially, a cover that your dentist puts over top of your existing tooth. It restores the tooth’s original shape, size, and strength when something goes wrong. Once you have a crown placed, it will cover the entire visible portion of the old tooth.

Several different scenarios exist in which you might require a dental crown. First, you might need a crown to protect a weak tooth from decay. If it is on the verge of breaking apart, a crown can help solidify the tooth and restore its strength.

It may also work to restore a tooth that has already broken or worn down too far. When you have an issue with tooth decay, there may be a large portion of the tooth missing. A crown can cover and support whatever small amount of the original tooth remains. Essentially, it acts like a very large filling in order to cover the hole. 

Crowns can also be placed for purely aesthetic purposes. They might be used to correct misshapen teeth or teeth that have a less than desirable colour. If bleaching your teeth does not work effectively, installing crowns may be the next best step to give you the bright white smile you’re after. 

Procedure for Placing a Dental Crown

Placing a dental crown does require more than one visit to the dentist. There are quite a few steps involved when it comes to placing a permanent crown that matches your smile. The first step is to examine and prepare the tooth to receive the crown. Using an x-ray, the dentist will determine whether there is risk of infection to the pulp of your tooth. If so, a root canal will be performed before anything else proceeds.

Next, your dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth. The tooth itself will be reshaped to make room for the crown to cover it. On the other hand, your dentist may need to add filling to the tooth to build it up if a lot of the tooth is missing because of decay. They will take a mould of the tooth, sending it to a dental laboratory to have a permanent crown made.

In the meantime, they will place a temporary crown over the tooth to protect it.  During the second visit, this will be removed and the permanent crown will be installed.

What is a Bridge? 

A bridge is used when you have a gap caused by one or more missing teeth. It is comprised of several crowns that help to restore your smile, help you speak and chew properly, and maintain the shape of your face. The crowns cover the two teeth on either side of the gap. These are known as the abutment teeth, and the false teeth in between are referred to as pontics.

Bridges are an important part of dentistry because they can prevent a lot of problems within the mouth. Without teeth filling in these gaps, your other teeth often drift out of their established places. This can cause issues with your bite and the overall appearance of your smile. 

In order to get a bridge, the process is much the same as it is for a crown. The dentist will prepare the abutment teeth to receive the crowns and take a mould of the area. A temporary bridge will serve as a placeholder until the lab creates a custom bridge just for you. On your second visit, this new bridge will be installed. 

Call to Schedule Your Appointment

Having a crown or a bridge doesn’t have to be a frightening experience. When you know what to expect, you can recline in the dentist’s chair and relax, knowing that you are in good hands. If you need dental crowns in Winnipeg, be sure to give Markham Dental Centre a call!