Crowns and bridges
Crowns and bridges keep your teeth strong and healthy
A dental crown is tooth-shaped cap that’s permanently cemented over a tooth to restore its strength, shape and size, and overall appearance. It covers the visible portion of the tooth above and right at the gum line. Crowns hold weak, broken or cracked teeth together to avoid further fracture. They’re also used to support large fillings, attach a bridge, cover discolored or deformed teeth, and are placed over dental implants.
Expect two visits for installing a crown. First, Dr. Cheng shapes the tooth so the crown can be fitted over it. Then he makes an impression to send to the lab so the crown can be created. You’ll have a temporary crown until the permanent one is ready. Then, on your second visit, Dr. Cheng will remove the temporary crown and cement the permanent crown onto the tooth.
Crowns generally last about five to eight years, and with good oral hygiene, can last much longer. Avoid biting your nails, chewing ice or grinding your teeth, otherwise you can damage it.
A dental bridge replaces one or more missing teeth; the doctor creates a natural-looking false tooth, which he then cements to the teeth around it, creating a “bridge” across the gap.
Putting in a bridge usually takes two or more visits. On your first appointment, he will prepare the supporting teeth (typically the ones on either side of the missing tooth), and make an impression for the lab, then place a temporary bridge. On the second visit, he will place the permanent bridge, ensure proper fit and function, then cement it into place.
You may feel some discomfort in the days following treatment; talk to us about which over-the-counter pain medications are appropriate for you. If pain persists for more than a few days, give us a call.
The importance of replacing missing teeth
Besides the obvious cosmetic reasons, replacing missing teeth can help you chew and speak properly, and will prevent shifting that can cause a misalignment in your bite and problems with your jaw. Shifted teeth are harder to clean, making them more susceptible to gum disease, decay or even additional tooth loss.