4. How are crown and bridge procedures performed?
- Your dentist will file down the two good teeth to make room for the bridge if you have healthy teeth on either side of a missing tooth (or teeth). Dental implants may be surgically implanted if you don’t have enough teeth to support a bridge. In order to replace the natural tooth’s root, a dental implant, an artificial root composed of titanium metal, is placed in the jawbone.. The implant serves as an anchor to keep a bridge or artificial tooth in place.
- After obtaining impressions of your teeth, your dentist creates a replica of your teeth also know as molds. The artificial tooth (or teeth) and two crowns are made to order using the model. This structure is known as a bridge.
- Meanwhile, your dentist places a temporary bridge in your mouth to protect the exposed teeth and gums.
- During your second appointment, your dentist will replace the temporary bridge in your mouth with your custom bridge. On either side of the missing tooth, the crowns are either fixed to your two healthy teeth or connected to dental implants.
Types of bridges
There are different types of dental bridges. Depending on the position of the lost tooth (or teeth), and the health of your teeth, mouth, and gums, your dentist or prosthodontist will advise the best option.
If there are healthy teeth on either side of the space where the tooth is missing, conventional bridges are used. Your dentist could suggest a single implant to replace a missing tooth between two healthy teeth as an alternative to a bridge. You won’t need to have your healthy teeth filed down in order to prepare them for crowns if you have an implant.
When several or all of your teeth are lost or when you don’t have enough healthy teeth to support a bridge, implant bridges are employed. Dental implants are used as anchors for a custom bridge. First, your dentist will decide if dental implants are the best option for you.
When teeth are lost in the front of the mouth, resin-bonded bridges—also called “Maryland” bridges—are used to replace the teeth. This form of bridge involves bonding the prosthetic teeth to metal bands and cementing them to the back of your natural teeth.
When just one side of the lost tooth or teeth has healthy teeth, a cantilever bridge is used. The artificial tooth is anchored over one or more of your nearby natural teeth during this treatment.
- Typically, two dental appointments are needed. The affected tooth will be examined and prepared by the dentist. To look for indications of decay or damage to the tooth’s pulp, they may take X-rays of the tooth and the bone that supports it. Before attaching the crown, a root canal procedure is performed to remove the tooth pulp, which contains blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerves.
- The dentist will numb the tooth and surrounding gum tissues to prepare the tooth for the crown. Although it is not necessary, especially if the tooth’s nerves have been removed, this step increases patient comfort. The structure of the harmed tooth will be filed down on all sides to make room for the crown.
- The type of crown that will be used determines the extent of filing. Full metal crowns are less invasive than full porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns because they are thinner. A composite material will be applied to restore the tooth’s structure for the crown if a sizable piece of the tooth is lost due to injury or disease.
- The dentist will take bite impressions of the patient after trimming the tooth. The patient bites into a putty-like substance to take an impression of the teeth. The dental lab that makes the crown will then receive the impressions. To make sure the crown blends in well with the patient’s natural teeth, a shade guide will be used.
- The dentist will cover the tooth with a temporary crown made of resin or metal until the permanent crown is ready. When it comes time to place the permanent crown, the temporary crown will be taken off. The temporary crown is less stable than the permanent one; patients need to use caution when wearing it. It is advised to chew on a different side of the mouth and to stay away from hard and sticky meals.
- The dentist may use a local anesthetic during the second session, although the procedure is usually painless. The temporary crown will be removed by the dentist, who will also clean the tooth. The permanent crown’s fit will be examined to make sure no additional changes are required. The dentist will then permanently glue the crown to the tooth once they are satisfied.