Crowns & Bridges


Crowns and bridges are grouped in the category of restorative dentistry. Both of these dental applications are used to replace missing or damaged teeth and to restore a natural-looking smile. These are permanently affixed appliances and are not removable.


Crowns

Crowns may also be referred to as caps because they fit over another structure (tooth or implant) like a cap. They provide the look and structure of a natural tooth for both appearance and function.

A crown is generally made of porcelain or ceramic and shaped like a natural tooth so that it matches the surrounding teeth. Crowns may also be formulated from metals or other combinations of alloys.

Crowns cover a damaged tooth or are used to cover an implant when a tooth is extracted or has fallen out. Crowns are also used when there is extensive decay in a tooth. Once the decay is removed, there may not be enough of the natural tooth remaining to support a large filling. A crown may be needed to cover and protect a tooth that is weak and may be at risk of fracturing or to restore a fractured tooth. Discolored or teeth that are improperly shaped may be covered with a crown for an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Crowns are used as structures to support bridges to replace a missing tooth or to cover a tooth that has undergone a root canal treatment.


Bridges

In the event that a tooth or group of teeth is missing, a permanent bridge may be created to fill the gap. It is important to fill gaps because, left alone, the surrounding teeth will eventually shift into the space left by the missing teeth. This will affect a person’s bite and eventually lead to difficulties chewing. It can also cause Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ), a group of conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement, or gum disease.


Creation & Use

Before either a crown or bridge can be constructed, the affected tooth or teeth must be prepared. Using advanced technology, a CAD/CAM device is used to design the crown or bridge. This provides the most accurate specifications so that we can construct a crown or bridge that fits perfectly and matches the surrounding teeth.

The new crown or bridge will be tested for fit and adjusted before permanent application. A bridge is generally attached to crowns placed on the teeth on either side of the gap for the most stable and functional application.


Care

Crowns and bridges must be cleaned just like natural teeth. Brushing and flossing daily will keep them attached to the teeth and stable. Good oral hygiene is important in the maintenance of natural as well as replacement teeth.

See Dr. Schmidt regularly for checkups, cleanings and preventative care.

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“Dr. Schmidt and his exceptional staff care for my entire family of five. I don’t know of a more honorable, friendly and knowledgable dentist than Dr. Schmidt. We have recommended him to many people and would do so again.” – Andrew Y.