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Crowns and Bridges

Dental Crowns Oak Lawn

Both crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices. Unlike removable devices such as dentures, which you can take out and clean daily, crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants, and can only be removed by a dentist like Dr. Michael B. Smith.

How do Crowns Work?

Crowns cover entirely or “cap” a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown is used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. It can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Other materials include gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic. These alloys are generally stronger than porcelain and may be recommended for back teeth. Porcelain bonded to a metal shell is often used because it is both strong and attractive. Dr. Smith may recommend a crown to:

  • Replace a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining
  • Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
  • Restore a fractured tooth
  • Attach a bridge
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
  • Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment

How do Bridges Work?

A bridge may be recommended if you’re missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Traditional Fixed Bridges

A fixed bridge is a false tooth fused between two porcelain crowns that is used to fill in an area left by a missing tooth or teeth. As with crowns, Dr. Mike will review a variety of choices for material for bridges, and help you decide based on the location and aesthetic considerations. Both porcelain and ceramic bridges can be matched to the natural color of your teeth. At Inside the Smile, Dr. Smith will show you how to care for your fixed bridge, since they require specific care. At well care visits, we’ll review how to floss properly under your bridge to maintain proper gum health. How fixed bridges are placed You’ll receive local anesthetic to keep you comfortable through the procedure. The teeth on either side of the missing space are then decreased in mass to prepare for crown fitting. An impression of your teeth is taken, so that your dental bridge can be accurately molded to fit perfectly. You are fitted with a temporary bridge to protect your gums and teeth while the customary one is being crafted. In your next appointment, the temporary bridge is removed and your customary bridge is applied.  Once it’s correctly fitted, it is cemented in place.

Advantages of Dental Bridges

  • Bridges offer a natural, healthy appearance. Since they are colored to perfectly match the shade of your other teeth, you may feel they improve your appearance.
  • They can be applied in only two office visits, we’ll explain the process after your evaluation.
  • Fixed and secure than traditional dentures, bridges don’t slide or move around in your mouth
  • You’ll regain natural speaking and chewing abilities.
  • A bridge will prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position.

Find out more about Cosmetic Procedures Next Page-Metal Free Fillings

Make Your Appointment Today

To schedule an appointment or if you or a family member need emergency dental care, please contact our office today.