When cemented in place, dental crowns fully replace the visible portion of a tooth but rely on your original root structure for support. Crowns have often been referred to as “caps” because they form a cap over your tooth. They can be made of porcelain, gold, metal alloys, or a combination of materials.
The reasons you may need a crown include: restoring a tooth weakened by decay or large fillings, holding together parts of a cracked tooth, preventing a tooth from fracturing after a root canal, covering misshapen teeth, covering badly stained teeth, holding a bridge in place, and covering an implant with a tooth.
While waiting for your crown to be made, Dr Warren or Dr Hardee will fabricate a “temporary crown” secured on the tooth with temporary cement. When your new crown is ready, it will be cemented in place.
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Adult teeth may be lost due to a variety of reasons. These include advanced periodontal disease, trauma or decay.
If missing teeth are not replaced, your other teeth can drift out of position causing bite or jaw problems. The area also becomes more difficult to clean and therefore susceptible to gum disease and decay of the surrounding teeth.
Fixed bridges are cemented in place. Removable partial dentures are not permanently attached and are removed at night or for cleaning purposes.
Bridges and partials can dramatically improve the appearance of your teeth by replacing missing teeth, or teeth that have to be extracted. The materials used to create the bridge or partial are made to match the color of your natural teeth, while providing structural support.
Removable Partial Denture
Missing Tooth Bridge
A removable partial denture (RPD) consists of an artificial tooth or teeth with small attachments on either side. These attachments anchor the artificial tooth to the teeth beside it, but can be detached when the RPD needs to be removed. Attachments may be made of metal or a flexible material that blends into your surrounding tissues. Being removable is useful for cleaning, but the partial will be less retentive than a fixed bridge.
Traditional Fixed Bridge
A bridge is a restorative structure used to replace missing teeth. Fixed bridges are cemented in place and cannot be taken out. Bridges consist of one or more false teeth (pontics) that are held in place by fixtures that attach to the surrounding teeth. A traditional fixed bridge is composed of a full artificial tooth, or teeth, with crowns attached to either side. These crowns are cemented over the teeth next to the missing tooth, and hold the artificial tooth in place where your missing tooth had been. Bridges are custom designed to look just like your natural teeth and to fit with your bite.
Procedure for Fixed Bridge
The teeth next to the empty space will be reduced and made smaller in order to receive the crown portion of the bridge. Then an impression will be taken of the whole area (the missing area and the two teeth next to it).
This impression is sent to a lab, and the bridge is custom-designed to fit the area. Just as with the placement of a crown, a temporary bridge will be put in place to protect your teeth and gums while the restoration is being constructed.