Crown and Bridge
You may be somewhat familiar with how the Invisalign® treatment works, but we’d like to take you through each step of the treatment process, from consultation to confident smile. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or someone else, knowing more about the entire process can help you be more confident in your decision to choose Invisalign and enjoy a better smile every day.
Crown and Bridge FAQ
A “Crown” is also know as a “Cap”.
If a tooth has been broken, or weakened by a lot of decay or a large filling, a crown can be fitted. Your dentist will match the crown’s shape and color to your other teeth so it will look natural. The crown will last for many years, depending on the health of the tooth underneath. A temporary crown is put over the tooth until the permanent crown is prepared.
A bridge consists of crowns which are permanently fixed to healthy supporting teeth. It is used to replace missing teeth, restoring appearance and function. A bridge can be made of either porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or Procera®. When preparing a conventional bridge, the dentist needs to shape the teeth either side of the gap so that they will successfully hold the bridge.A typical bridge is illustrated below. The natural teeth either side of the space have been prepared to have crowns fitted. These crowns are permanently fused to an artificial tooth in the centre.
While a crowned tooth does not require any special care, you should continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day – especially around the crown area where the gum meets the tooth.
Bridges are cemented in place, so they cannot be removed for cleaning. To keep the teeth healthy, the gap under a bridge must be cleaned daily using special dental floss – an ordinary toothbrush will not do the job. Your dentist will demonstrate how to use floss under your bridge.
All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns and bridges provide a better natural colour match than the metal fused ones. However, they are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and bridges and they wear down opposing teeth more than metal crowns. All-ceramic crowns are a good choice for front teeth.
The process of fitting crowns and bridges requires two visits.
During the first session our dentist takes X-rays to assess the health of your mouth. In case of crowns the tooth receiving the crown is trimmed. In case of bridges the supporting teeth are trimmed. Preparation involves recontouring these teeth by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. A shade guide is used to select the correct colour of porcelain.
Impressions are taken of the prepared teeth and the teeth of the opposite jaw.
A temporary bridge or crown may be bonded to protect the prepared teeth between visits (you must also avoid hard or sticky food and keep the temporary bridge or crown clean). During the second session: the temporary bridge or crown is removed. The permanent crown or bridge is checked for colour and fit. If you and your dentist are happy with your crown or bridge, it is permanently fixed in place with dental cement.
The placement of dental implants instead of having a bridge made can be an excellent option. Placement of a dental implant doesn’t require surrounding teeth to be utilized for support. When fabricating a bridge it is necessary to use the teeth on each side of the space to be used for support. If the teeth adjacent to the space are healthy and don’t have fillings, a dental implant is usually a much better option.