A crown is a durable covering that surrounds the entire surface of a tooth. Made of strong porcelain, crowns can be custom shaped and tinted to match the surrounding teeth, so they look completely natural. Crowns are used to provide strength for teeth weakened by extensive decay or following a root canal, and they are also used to strengthen the teeth used to support a bridge. In cosmetic dentistry, crowns are used to hide dark cavities or to improve the appearance of a tooth damaged by deep discoloration, chips, cracks, or fractures. Crowns typically take two visits, one to prepare the tooth and take an impression which will serve as a mold for the crown, and one to place the crown on the tooth using a special dental adhesive.
A bridge is a device used to replace one or several missing teeth. Bridges use a strong metal framework to support one or more artificial teeth, or crowns, to replace natural teeth missing due to decay, trauma, or other causes. Bridges attach to the teeth on either side of the gap left by the missing teeth, either with a strong adhesive or using special clips so they can be removed for cleaning.
Bridge placement procedures usually require two or three visits. During the first visit, the teeth that will be used to support the bridge will be prepared to receive crowns. An impression of the area will then be made and sent to the dental lab where the crowns and the bridge are made from the impression mold. The crowns and the prosthetic teeth will be tinted to match the surrounding teeth for a completely natural-looking result. At the second appointment, the crowns will be cemented in place and the bridge will be adjusted for a comfortable fit.
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