Crowns & Bridges
The knowledgeable dentists at our Grand Rapids dental practice may suggest that you need a crown or a bridge to restore and enhance teeth that have been damaged, or to take the place of missing teeth.
To create a bridge or a crown, our Grand Rapids dental professionals with first make an impression of your mouth. This impression is then sent to a dental lab where your crown or bridge will be custom-made to fit your mouth and match your natural tooth color.
A temporary crown or bridge will be placed into your mouth until your permanent crown or bridge is made. When the permanent crown or bridge is ready, it will be cemented into place. Bridges and crowns are very durable and can last a lifetime with extra care and by practicing good oral hygiene.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a tooth, helping to restore its shape and size or improve its appearance. A crown not only strengthens a tooth, but can also improve a tooth’s appearance, shape and alignment. When the crown is adhered into place, it will fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
Crowns may be used to:
- Replace a large filling when only minimal tooth structure remains
- 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
Dental bridges literally bridge the gap caused by one or more missing teeth, where one or more artificial teeth are cemented into place using the teeth on either side for support. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically.
A dental bridge usually consists of two bridges for the teeth on either side of the gap. The two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth and secure the false tooth or teeth in between. These false teeth can be made from gold, alloys, composite resins or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges can be supported by natural teeth and by implants.
Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear and esthetics.
It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated properly and in a timely manner, the teeth surrounding the gap will begin to shift inward. Since teeth use their neighbors for support, if one is missing they begin to fall and shift into the open spaces.
This may worsen your bite due to changes in pressure and can eventually result in problems with the jaw such as TMJ.