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Crowns and Bridges

Crowns and Bridges

In cases where teeth have become decayed, damaged, or lost altogether, restorative dental procedures are used to repair the issue and maintain proper function. Two commonly used restorative dental procedures are dental crowns and dental bridges. A crown, sometimes known as a dental cap, encases a tooth that was previously damaged or decayed to restore it. A bridge, used to restore missing teeth, is made up of a fake tooth supported with dental crowns on either side. 

Did You Know?

Dental crowns have been a part of human history for thousands of years. In fact, they were introduced by the Ancient Italians as a common way of restoring damaged teeth. At that time dental crowns were made from gold, ivory, and bone. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Do I need a dental crown or a dental bridge?

You may need a dental crown if you have a tooth that is decayed or damaged. Additionally, if you have had a root canal to remove decay from the pulp layer, then the tooth will need to be restored with a dental crown. Dental crowns can also be for cosmetic reasons such as correcting misshapen or discolored teeth. 

You may need a dental bridge if you have a missing tooth surrounded by healthy teeth on either side of the gap. Dental bridges can be used to restore both function and the aesthetics of your smile. 

To find out if dental crowns and bridges are the right restorative dental treatment for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Ross Quartano and Zach Staples of Magnolia Dentistry today. 

Are there different types of dental crowns?

Different types of dental crowns on a white background

Yes, there are different types of dental crowns. All dental crowns have the same basic structure, acting as a cap that fits over the tooth, however dental crowns can be made using different dental materials. These dental materials are often broken down into metal and non-metal. 

Metal materials include: stainless steel, gold, platinum, cobalt chromium, nickel chromium, or porcelain fused to metal (PFM). In most cases, stainless steel crowns are reserved for temporary use, for example in the primary teeth of children or for a temporary crown. Permanent dental crowns are made from what is simply referred to as “metal” crowns. Metal crowns can be gold, platinum, cobalt chromium, or nickel chromium. The final type of metal crown is only partially metal. PFM crowns have a metal base with a porcelain exterior.  

Non-metal materials for dental crowns include resin or porcelain. Dental crowns made from resin are known as all-resin crowns. Resin is a non-metal that can be matched to the exact natural shade of the tooth. Dental crowns made from porcelain that do not contain metal are known as all-porcelain crowns. This type of crown can also be color matched, but is stronger and more durable than all-resin crowns. 

Are there different types of dental bridges?

Yes, just as there are different types of dental crowns, there are also different types of dental bridges. Unlike dental crowns, however, dental bridges are not differentiated based on dental materials, rather they are set apart by the way they anchor themselves to the surrounding teeth. There are four different kinds of dental bridges: traditional, implant-supported, Maryland bonded, and cantilever. 

A traditional dental bridge is one that is made of a fake tooth surrounded and anchored in place by dental crowns on either side of the gap. This type of bridge is the most commonly used type. Implant-supported and Maryland bonded bridges are similar in structure to the traditional bridge. However, implant-supported bridges replace dental crowns with dental implants, and Maryland bonded bridges replace dental crowns with a metal framework that is bonded to the surface of the teeth. 

Traditional dental bridge      Implant supported bridge

The final type of dental bridge is rarely used, but can be used towards the back of the mouth. Cantilever bridges only span on one side of the gap, meaning they only have one anchor point instead of two. Because this places additional strain on the single anchor point, they are not often used. 

How is a dental crown or bridge placed at Magnolia Dental?

Diagram showing crown preparation

At Magnolia Dental, dental crowns and bridges are placed using two dental appointments. During the first appointment, your tooth or teeth will be prepared. For a dental crown, only a single tooth will need to be prepared, while for a dental bridge the two teeth on either side of the gap will need to be prepared. Before beginning the preparation procedure, you will be anesthetized to keep you comfortable. To prepare your tooth or teeth, any decayed tissue will be removed, the area will be cleaned, and the tooth will be shaped to accommodate a dental crown. In cases where a large amount of decay was removed, the tooth structure may need to be built up. This process will be repeated on every tooth being crowned. 

Once the tooth or teeth have been prepared, a dental impression will be taken of your mouth. From this, a mold will be made and sent to a dental laboratory. The dental laboratory will then use this information to custom fabricate your dental crown or bridge. While your permanent restoration is being made, a temporary crown or bridge will be placed. During the second appointment, your temporary restoration will be removed and replaced with your permanent dental crown or bridge. 

Will I need to follow any special directions after my dental crown or bridge is placed?

Temporary dental crowns and bridges are not as durable as permanent restorations, so after having a temporary placed, you will need to take special care not to dislodge it. This means no hard, sticky, or chewy foods. It is also recommended to avoid chewing on the side of the temporary restoration. After your permanent dental crown or bridge has been placed, you can resume your usual routine, however you should always exercise caution when eating anything hard, sticky, or chewy. 

How do I care for my dental crown or bridge?

Dental crowns and bridges require no additional care beyond your normal oral health routine. This routine should consist of brushing twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste for two minutes and flossing once a day. Additionally, it should also consist of semi-annual appointments with Magnolia Dental for your checkups and professional teeth cleanings. 

For the highest quality dental treatments and sincere patient care, schedule a consultation with Dr. Ross Quartano and Zach Staples of Magnolia Dentistry today. Magnolia Dentistry provides dental services to the community of Covington, LA and surrounding areas. 

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