East Brunswick, NJ Dental Crowns & Bridges
There are several ways a tooth can be repaired after sustaining damage from decay or trauma. One of the most common and reliable ways dentists can restore both function and form to a defective tooth is by applying a dental crown. Crowns are a versatile restoration: they finish off root canals and fill in empty spaces with a bridge. In many instances, crowns allow the root structure of natural teeth to remain fixed in place while compensating for the loss of the upper portion of the tooth.
What Are Crowns?
Dental crowns are hollow, tooth-shaped shells that slip over teeth to protect and strengthen them. In size and shape, crowns look like the top portion of a natural tooth. Since the crown encases a tooth completely, the restoration is a good choice if you want to conceal an imperfection.
Crowns must be tough enough to handle the strong forces involved in chewing and biting. They're made of a variety of durable materials, including porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, resin, ceramic, gold and nickel. All crowns have a hollowed-out section inside, which allows them to fit snugly over the top of a natural tooth. The only exception are crowns that are used in the middle section of a bridge; these restorations are solid because they are taking the place of a missing natural tooth.
Dental Crown Process
Dentists prepare natural teeth for crowns by first taking measurements of the space where the crown will be placed. The next part of the process involves removing any decay and preparing the tooth for the dental crown. After your East Brunswick, NJ dentist files your tooth, he'll make an impression of your mouth, which will be sent to a dental laboratory that creates the crown. You'll receive a temporary crown, which you'll wear for the next two or three weeks until your permanent crown arrives.
When you return to your dentist's office, he will test the fit of your new crown and make adjustments before permanently attaching it to your tooth with a bonding cement. With proper care and regular checkups, crowns can last as long as 20 years, allowing the wearer to smile and eat normally without risking the health of the remaining teeth.
Why Are Crowns Recommended?
Your dentist may recommend a crown if you have one of the following problems:
• Cracks and Chips: Cracks and chips can weaken teeth and make them more susceptible to breaking. Adding a crown to your tooth strengthens it and prevents it from breaking.
• Broken Tooth: A crown restores a broken tooth and allows you to use the tooth to bite and chew again.
• Recent Dental Procedures: Large fillings and root canals are needed to repair and restore teeth, but they also tend to weaken teeth. A crown is necessary to protect and stabilize your tooth after these procedures.
• Discolored Teeth: Dental crowns hide discolorations that can dull your smile.
• Oddly Shaped or Crooked Teeth: When one tooth doesn't look like the others, you may feel self-conscious about your smile. Crowns help the tooth blend in with surrounding teeth.
• Short Teeth: It can be harder to bite or chew if one tooth is much shorter than surrounding teeth.
The purpose of the dental bridge is to replace one or more teeth in a row and to fill the gap left by the missing teeth. A dental bridge has two crowns on both sides of the restoration with a false tooth or teeth in the middle. The crowns are placed over a nearby healthy tooth to help support and anchor the bridge into place. The artificial tooth or teeth in the middle, also called pontics, can be made from materials such as gold or porcelain.
Dental bridges are a great option for many people looking to restore their smile and improve the ability to chew or speak, which are often affected by tooth loss. Also, because natural teeth begin to shift into the open gap left by the missing tooth, getting a dental bridge prevents teeth from moving out of place and affecting the overall structure and shape of your face. A bridge also improves your bite after tooth loss so that other teeth don’t become damaged or worn down due to an uneven bite.
When you come into our East Brunswick, NJ dental office to get a bridge, we will first need to examine your smile and make sure your mouth is healthy enough for treatment. Next, we will need to prepare the two natural teeth on each side of the gap so that they are ready for a crown. These teeth are shaved down to make room for the crown.
Then, we will take impressions of your teeth to send to a dental laboratory where they will make your custom dental bridge to fit your mouth. In the meantime, a temporary bridge will be worn until your permanent one is ready.
During your next visit, the temporary bridge will be removed and the permanent bridge will be fitted and adjusted. It may take a couple visits to make sure that the bridge fits properly and that your bite isn’t affected. Once we have determined that your bridge is a good fit, it will be cemented into place.