Crowns & Bridges

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth – covering the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or to improve its appearance. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

Why is a Dental Crown Needed?

A crown is a permanent covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance, although it is often less durable.

The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:

  1. Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it.
  2. Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
  3. Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes one to two weeks).
  4. Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period when the permanent custom-made crown is being created.
  5. Applying the permanent crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the permanent one onto the tooth.
  6. After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.

This process generally consists of a minimum of 2-3 visits over a three to four week period.

Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease. Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime.

What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge is a fixed appliance used to replace one or more missing teeth. These appliances are cemented into place and cannot be removed by the patient.

How is a dental bridge constructed?

The bridge is constructed of 3 or more crowns that are fused together covering the open space as well as the teeth on either side of the missing tooth, hence, "bridging" the gap. There is a pontic tooth (false tooth) for every missing tooth being replaced and what’s called an abutment tooth for every supporting tooth. Similar to when a crown is prepped there is a waiting time. You will wear an acrylic temporary for 3 weeks while the lab customizes your bridge. This procedure takes 2 appointments.

Request an Appointment today for your crowns/bridges Consultation with Dr. Lopez.

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