Crowns or bridges are placed when your dentist feels that your tooth or teeth are damaged beyond the help of fillings.
Crowns are used in circumstances where just one tooth needs to be replaced. First, the doctor removes decay and then shapes the tooth so that the crown can be placed on top of the old tooth. At this point, the doctor will take an impression of the new shape of the tooth and place a temporary covering (like a crown) over the tooth.
That impression will be sent to a lab, where the permanent crown will be shaped and polished to look nearly indistinguishable from the rest of your real teeth. On a subsequent visit, you will have your temporary crown removed and your permanent crown placed. Now you are on your way to a new and beautiful smile!
Bridges are used when more than one tooth is missing or needs extensive work. Much like a crown, bridges require the surrounding teeth to be prepared by removal of decay and shaping. After the tooth/teeth surrounding the space is prepared to receive the anchoring crowns, an impression is made of the whole area.
Then, like with a crown, the impression is sent to the lab to have the bridge sculpted to fit the new shape of the teeth. In the meantime, a temporary bridge will be fitted in anticipation of the new permanent bridge, which will be placed at your next follow-up visit. If you follow your dental professional’s instructions for care of your new dental work, you will be able to chew and smile better than ever for a long time to come!