In the past decade there has been a dramatic interest in cosmetic dentistry. We all realize that having a healthy, bright, beautiful smile enhances our appearance and allows us to smile with confidence. Thanks to the advances in modern cosmetic dentistry, we are able to improve our teeth and smiles with quick, painless and surprisingly affordable treatments.
A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.
A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately three weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.
While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and placing a core foundation if needed, shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Several impressions will be taken of the prepared tooth/teeth at this time. Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be made and placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly and the temporary crown is comfortable and stable till your next appointment.
At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed with long-term cement. The spacing and bite are then checked once again for accuracy upon finishing.
You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown on your regular six month check-ups.
A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.
There are several types of bridges. You and your dentist will discuss the best options for your particular case.
Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years, however they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear in time.
Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits depending on which type is chosen. While the teeth are numb, the two adjacent teeth to the space are prepared like a crown (cap). Next, accurate impressions (molds) will be taken and will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. Upon finishing, a temporary bridge will be made and placed with temporary cement for three weeks until the next appointment.
At the second visit, the temporary bridge will be removed and the permanent bridge will be fitted and carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented with long-term cement. Occasionally your dentist may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing your teeth and tissue time to get used to the new bridge. The new bridge will be cemented at a later visit with long-term cement.
You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of the procedure. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new bridge for years to come.