Dental crowns are custom-fitted tooth prosthetics that are used to replace or restore damaged or missing teeth. Crowns – also known as caps – are fixed over the surfaces of natural tooth structures or dental implants. Both crowns and bridges are non-removable and must be cemented in place by a licensed dentist. Patients who get crowns to restore their smiles achieve both the function and appearance of natural, healthy teeth. Dr. Kittell strives to make a natural-looking and natural-feeling crown custom to your smile.
Bridges are used to fill in the gaps left by missing teeth and are anchored in place by the natural teeth or crowns nearest to the empty space. Bridges are also permanently cemented and non-removable.
Frequently Asked Questions about Crowns and Bridges
If you have a tooth that is damaged or decayed, but still intact, a dental crown may be right for you. If your tooth is missing, but its former position is surrounded by other healthy teeth, a bridge could be the right solution. Schedule an office consultation with Dr. Kittell and team to determine whether you could benefit from crowns or bridges.
If you are a candidate for a crown or bridge, your teeth will be shaped to ensure a proper fit. An impression will then be taken of your bite and used to fabricate a mold for the crown or bridge. If you are choosing porcelain prosthesis, its color will be matched to the natural shade of your other teeth. A dental laboratory will then use your impression to make your crown or bridge. It usually takes 2-3 weeks for the prosthesis to be made, so you may be fitted with a temporary restoration until the permanent one is ready for placement.
Your teeth will need time to heal following the crown and bridge placement process, so it is normal for you to experience some sensitivity – especially to hot and cold. Additionally, you may experience soreness in the gums surrounding your restorations, though this is usually manageable with over the counter medications and should subside within a few days. It is important that you take care of your temporary crown. Dr. Kittell and her team will review instructions with you on how to properly care for your temporary and permanent crown.