A crown is a dental restoration that’s designed to surround the entire visible part of the tooth. Crowns are made of durable materials, most often porcelain, that can be tinted to match your other teeth. A crown can be used to:
The application of a crown usually requires two office visits. At the first visit, the dentist removes a little bit of the tooth surface material to accommodate the crown’s thickness. Then, the dentist takes an impression of the tooth and selects the tint color. Finally, the dentist applies a temporary crown to protect the tooth while your permanent crown is being made. At the second office visit, the dentist will replace the temporary crown with the permanent crown.
A bridge is a dental restoration that spans or “bridges” the gap left by one or more missing teeth. Bridges use a strong framework that attaches to the teeth on either side of that gap. The framework serves as a support for one or more artificial teeth or crowns. Bridges can attach using clips (these are removable bridges) or using special adhesives for a very secure fit.
Most bridge procedures can be completed in two office visits. At the first visit, the dentist will prepare the teeth that will support the bridge, shaping them for crowns before taking an impression of the area. The dentist will select the best shade for the crowns and then place temporary crowns on the teeth to protect them. The impression will be sent to a lab that specializes in natural, comfortable restorations. At the second office visit, the dentist will remove the temporary crowns and apply the permanent crowns and the bridge, adjusting it as needed for a perfect fit. Bridges are very durable, and they can last a long time with proper brushing and flossing, routine trips to the dentist for cleanings and checkups, and a little common sense (like not using your teeth as prying tools and not chewing on ice or hard candy).
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