Teeth can be incredibly tough and durable, but because you use them every day to chew your food they’re constantly subjected to all kinds of potential damage. Brushing and flossing your teeth helps, and so does getting a professional dental cleaning at least twice a year. But these things may still not be enough and this is why here at Dental Savers, we offer our patients crowns and bridges.
What’s a Crown?
When your teeth becomes damaged, sometimes the best recourse is to completely cover it so that the damage doesn’t get any worse. This cover is called a “crown”. It’s usually made from ceramic or porcelain, as these materials are tough yet natural-looking. Here in our Mayfair, Philadelphia clinic, our crowns are shaped and colored to look and function like real teeth.
The crown may be used for several purposes. It can cover a tooth that is deeply stained or is fractured. It can also cover a weak tooth to keep it from fracturing. If you underwent a root canal treatment, a crown is used to protect the tooth.
We also use the crown to replace a missing tooth. We put a dental implant to serve as the root and the foundation, and then we top it with a crown. With this option, you’ll get a replacement for your tooth that looks, acts, and feels like the real thing.
What’s a Bridge?
If you’re missing one or more teeth in a row, we can also put in a bridge to replace the missing teeth. It’s called a “bridge” because it basically bridges the large gap between your teeth. We cement the bridge to the natural teeth or to the implants, which serve as anchors for the bridge. These anchors are covered with crowns, and then we put in the replacement teeth in the middle. Like crowns, the bridge is a fixed device, and you don’t (and can’t) remove them. Only a dentist can do that.
Also like crowns, you have options regarding the materials used for your bridge. We can help you in your decision, although this choice depends on several factors. We have to factor in the location of the gap, the function of the missing teeth, how you want the bridge to look, and your budget. Often, our patients choose to use ceramic or porcelain for their bridges, as they can be made to look more natural. You can get them in a color that matches the rest of your teeth, so that no one will ever have to know you’re sporting replacement teeth.
Making Crowns and Bridges
Before we put the crown or bridge, some preparations are needed. We may need to reduce the size of the teeth that require the crowns so that they will fit well. Once that’s done, we will then take an impression of your teeth for the mold. We will use this mold on the crown or bridge to customize the fit. At this stage, we will also determine the right shade for the crown or bridge so that it will match the shade of all your other teeth.
Before you leave our clinic we will put a temporary crown or bridge in place to protect your teeth while we work on creating your crown or bridge. On your next visit, we will remove the temporary devices and install the permanent crown or bridge.
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