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Crowns and Bridges

What are crowns?

Crowns are a cosmetic restoration used to strengthen a tooth or improve its shape and colour. They are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, have had a root canal or partially destroyed by tooth decay.

These restorations are "cemented" onto an existing tooth and fully cover the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth's new outer surface. They help to strengthen and reinforce your teeth.  Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.

How are crowns made?

They are done in two appointments.  The first appointment the tooth is prepared for the restoration and an impression is taken and sent off to the lab.  A temporary crown will be made to protect your tooth in the mean time.  A colour shade will be chosen to make the crown match with your your other teeth.

The second appointment is very easy and quick.  The temporary crown will be removed and the real crown will be bonded on.

Two easy appointments and your tooth will be stronger from the protection of the crown and your smile will be restored back to its natural look and function!

Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength remaining to hold a filling. Unlike fillings which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.

What are bridges?

A dental bridge may be used to replace missing teeth, help maintain the shape of your face, and alleviate stress on your bite.

A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been. Your bridge can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials, and is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support.

How are bridges done?

A dental bridge is made in two easy appointments. The first appointment, the supporting teeth are prepared for the dental bridge and an impression is made so that the lab can fabricate the bridge.  At the end of the appointment, a temporary bridge is made so that you can "test drive" the new bridge and get a sense of how it looks and functions.  A colour shade will be taken to make the colour of your new bridge to your existing dentition so that the new bridge blends in and looks natural!

During the second appointment, the temporary bridge will be removed and the real bridge is placed over your teeth. The fit, support and stability of the bridge will be assessed by our dentists.  You will have a chance to see how the bridge looks like inside your own mouth.  The bridge is only cemented on once your are completely satisfied with the colour, shape and esthetics.  Your teeth will be cleaned and a bond will be applied.  The bridge is then cemented onto your teeth.  Finally your bite is fine tuned to ensure optimal chewing ability.

Taking care of your crown and bridge

The success of any dental crown & bridge depend on its foundation — the other teeth, gums, or bone to which it is attached. Therefore, it's very important to keep your existing teeth, gums, and jaw healthy and strong.  Having regular cleaning and check-ups will improve the longevity of your crown & bridge and prevent issues from occurring.

The number one reason why a crown & bridge fail is that bacteria can attach the margins and cause recurrent caries.  Good home oral hygiene along with routine professional cleaning will greatly decrease the risk of decay.

#20 - 4 Spruce Ridge Drive, Spruce Grove, AB T7X 4S3 CA
Dr. Mark Southwood Spruce Grove, AB dentist. (780) 962-5538 (780) 962-4485