If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may notice a difference in chewing and speaking. There are options to help restore your smile. Bridges help maintain the shape of your face, as well as alleviating the stress in your bite by replacing missing teeth.
Sometimes called a fixed partial denture, a bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been.
The restoration can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials and is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support.
Ceramic crowns and bridges are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth!
Advantages of Porcelain Crowns
- Ceramic crowns and bridges are metal free and are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth.
- Impacts a patient’s self-confidence, allowing them to smile like they always wished they could.
What is a crown?
A crown is a cap that’s cemented over the entire tooth from the chewing surface down to the gumline. Dr Perrott uses crowns for a variety of reasons, including:
- To protect or restore a tooth that’s cracked or weakened by decay
- To cover a discolored or misshapen tooth
- To cover a dental implant
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To cover a tooth that’s had a root canal
What are crowns made of?
Temporary crowns are made of acrylic or stainless steel and are meant to last for a couple of weeks until the permanent crowns are ready. Permanent crowns can be made of all metal, porcelain fused to metal, all resin or all ceramic and are designed to last form 5 to 15 years or more with good care.
Porcelain is most often used on front teeth because it appears the most natural. If you need a tooth-colored crown with extra strength, the porcelain might be fused over metal.
Gold crowns are stronger and less vulnerable to chipping the porcelain, so they’re sometimes used for molars or back teeth.
What’s the best way to care for your crowns?
Because temporary crowns are secured with a removable cement, be especially careful when flossing to slide the floss out rather than lifting it out from between the teeth.
How to care for your crown or bridge
If you have had anesthetic, please be careful not to bite your tongue or the inside of your cheeks. Avoid eating chewy foods until the numbness has worn off.
It is important that the temporary crown (or bridge) stay in place until the permanent crown is inserted. If the temporary crown becomes dislodged or feels uncomfortable, please call us so that we may see you as soon as possible. Do not attempt to “glue” the temporary crown back in yourself or “go without it” as the teeth may become sensitive or shift slightly preventing insertion of the permanent crown. You can use a denture adhesive like Fixodent to temporarily hold the crown or bridge in until you can get to our office. Some cold sensitivity and tenderness around the gum is normal for the first few days.
Avoid: Avoid chewing anything very hard or sticky on the temporary crown. Examples to avoid: Gum, Hard Crusty Bread, Taffy, or hard candy.
To prevent pulling temporary crown off, avoid flossing, but do brush carefully and thoroughly. It is important to brush and keep gum tissue as clean as possible. Remember, we are happy to see you to check the temporary crown if you have a question prior to insertion of the permanent crown.
Long Term Care of Your New Crown or Bridge
Now that your crown or bridge has been cemented there are a few things to expect and to care for. Initially you may experience some sensitivity to cold as the tooth may be slightly irritated by the cement. Sensitivity toothpaste generally helps (ie. Sensodyne or Crest for Sensitivity teeth). Also, if after a couple of days your “Bite” seems off or it just doesn’t feel normal, please call our office for a slight adjustment. It is extremely important to maintain excellent oral hygiene with your new crown or bridge. Some people have the misconception that a crowned tooth no longer needs to be maintained. That is simple not true. Crowns and bridges are still susceptible to decay near the gumline the same as a natural tooth.
The crown strengthens the portion of the tooth above the gumline but this margin area requires special care. Normal brushing and flossing is a must. Additional use of a fluoride rinse (ie. Act or Flurogard), and a high fluoride content toothpaste or gel (ie. Prevident 5000 or Gel Kam) are excellent for preventing additional root decay. These additional aids are extremely important for patient with a high decay rate and/or a history of periodontal disease.
Most all crowns and bridges have a ceramic outer layer or are all ceramic. These materials are very strong and color stabile but they still have potential to fracture the same as a natural tooth, as a rule of thumb, don’t do anything with a crown or bridge that could damage a natural tooth. DO NOT CHEW ICE! The extreme temperature change greatly increases the fracture of porcelain and natural teeth.
Fixed bridges require addition cleaning under the pontic (Missing tooth). Since this “Fake tooth” is connected to the adjacent teeth a bridge threader is used to thread floss under it to remove plaque. These are readily available at most pharmacies. We would be happy to demonstrate how to use them.