Dental crowns are tooth-shaped dental prosthetics that are built to fit perfectly over your existing tooth and cover the entire exterior chewing surface. This makes dental crowns an ideal way to cover up a tooth that has been damaged or compromised and ensure that it is not affected by further damage or infection. Porcelain dental crowns can also be used for cosmetic dentistry, both to replace old metal crowns, or to restore a tooth that may be slightly damaged or misshapen.
Bridges are closely related to dental crowns. Dental bridges consist of two crowns placed onto two healthy “abutment teeth” on either side of the gap where a missing tooth used to be. The abutment teeth are each capped with a dental crown, and the false tooth or teeth literally “bridge” the gap between the healthy teeth, where your missing tooth used to be.
Treatment begins by cleaning your mouth, disinfecting the treatment area, and numbing the tooth and surrounding tissue. Then, Dr. Nguyen will use specialized dental tools to remove any damaged enamel or decayed material from your tooth and create a stable, healthy platform for the dental crown.
Next, images and impressions of your teeth will be taken. This information will be used by a third-party lab to create your custom dental crown. While your crown is manufactured, you’ll wear a temporary crown. When your permanent crown arrives at our office, you’ll come in for your last appointment, and Dr. Nguyen will check the crown for proper fit and finish, then bond it to your tooth permanently with dental cement.
The placement process for dental bridges is similar to dental crowns. Both of the abutment teeth will be trimmed and prepared for the bridge, and then images and impressions of your mouth will be taken. A dental bridge, consisting of multiple crowns linked together with metal bridgework, will be crafted at an outside dental lab based on this information. When your permanent bridge arrives, Dr. Nguyen will check it for proper fit and make any minor adjustments and changes, if necessary. The bridge will then be bonded into place using dental cement, and you’ll leave our office with a restored smile!