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Tooth Crown & Dental Bridge

Tooth Crown & Dental Bridge

Tooth Crown & Dental Bridge

Definitive Guide to Dental Crowns & Tooth Bridges

Do you have a decaying or damaged tooth?  Are you getting a root canal or a dental filling?

You may require a dental crown or a tooth bridge.

Ignoring the problem may cause issues with your bite, which can lead to TMJ disorders, or encourage the growth of infection and gum disease.

Fear not! Dental crowns and bridges are straightforward and long-lasting treatments.

To help you decide if a crown or bridge is right for you, we’ll answer your questions, such as:

What are dental crowns?

  • Tooth-shaped caps that restore the shape, size, and function of a compromised tooth
  • Solutions for weak, broken, discoloured, or misshapen teeth
  • Covers for dental implants
  • Attachments for a tooth bridge

What are tooth bridges?

  • Prosthetic devices that fill gaps left behind from one or more missing teeth
  • Solutions for restoring and maintaining your smile, bite, and jaw

How do tooth crowns work?

  • We take an impression of your tooth to custom-make the crown for your mouth and place a temporary crown on your tooth
  • Two weeks later, we cement the permanent crown into place

How do tooth bridges work?

  • The bridge is held in place by attachments to the natural teeth on both sides of the gap
  • We may install implants if your natural teeth aren’t healthy enough to support the bridge
  • We take an impression of your teeth to custom-make the bridge piece and place a temporary bridge in your gap
  • Two weeks later, we attach either a traditional, cantilever, Maryland, or implant-supported bridge

How long do dental crowns last?

  • Ten years or more with a proper oral hygiene routine
  • Metal crowns last the longest but look unnatural
  • Composite crowns may wear down but look natural
  • Porcelain crowns may chip but look natural
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns last a long time and look natural

How long do dental crowns last?

  • Ten years or more with a proper oral hygiene routine
  • Proper oral hygiene requires a floss threader

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown restores a compromised tooth to its standard shape, size, and function.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine defines a dental crown as a tooth-shaped cap that replaces the healthy tooth above the gum line. There are several situations where the American Dental Association recommends the use of dental crowns, such as:

  • Protecting a weak tooth from breaking or restoring one that’s already broken
  • Strengthening a tooth that is too weak to hold a dental filling
  • Covering teeth that are discoloured or misshapen
  • Covering a dental implant
  • Attaching a tooth bridge

What is a tooth bridge?

A dental bridge is a prosthetic device that fills in the gap left behind by one or more missing teeth.

Bridges are used for smaller gaps and rely on stable teeth or dental implants. More significant gaps or weaker teeth may require dentures.

According to Healthline, a bridge addresses the conditions missing teeth can cause, such as:

  • Restoring your smile
  • Restoring your ability to chew properly
  • Restoring your speech and pronunciation
  • Maintaining the shape of your face
  • Re-adjusting your bite to distribute the force when you chew
  • Preventing your remaining teeth from moving out of the correct position

How does a tooth crown work?

A tooth crown treatment takes two appointments. During the first appointment, we will:

  • File down the tooth to make room for the crown
  • Take an impression of the filed-down tooth and the nearby teeth to ensure the crown is the right shape for your mouth
  • Place a temporary crown over the tooth in need of restoration

Usually, it takes around two weeks to fabricate the permanent crown based on your impressions. Once the crown is ready, the second appointment can begin. We will:

  • Take off the temporary crown and put on the final one
  • Ensure the crown is the right fit, shape, colour, and bite
  • Cement the crown into place

The Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care notes that the crowns are made of metal, porcelain, or plastic, depending on your tooth’s needs. Whichever material we recommend for your unique situation will ensure your smile looks and feels great!

How does a dental bridge work?

Typically, the false tooth (or teeth) is held in place by attachments to the natural teeth on both sides of the gap.

Like a dental crown, we install a bridge in two appointments. During the first appointment, we will:

  • Install dental implants (titanium roots inserted into the jawbone) if your natural teeth on each side of the gap aren’t healthy enough to support the bridge
  • Take an impression of your teeth to custom-make the bridge piece—the artificial tooth (or teeth) attached to two crowns
  • Place a temporary bridge in your mouth to protect the exposed teeth and gums

Approximately two weeks later, we will remove the temporary bridge and put in the custom-made bridge. Depending on your gap’s location and size, there are four styles of dental bridges we may install:

  1. Traditional dental bridge – The false teeth are held in place by dental crowns that we cement onto each of the adjacent teeth. Traditional bridges require natural teeth on both sides of the gap created by your missing tooth. They are the most common kind of tooth bridge.
  2. Cantilever dental bridge – Similar to the traditional dental bridge; however, the false tooth is held in place by a dental crown that we cement to a single adjacent tooth.
  3. Maryland dental bridge – Like a traditional bridge, the false tooth relies on the support of two natural teeth. Instead of using dental crowns, the Maryland dental bridge uses a metal or porcelain framework that binds to the back of the adjacent teeth.
  4. Implant-supported bridges – If you don’t have healthy enough teeth to support a traditional, cantilever, or Maryland bridge, we install tooth implants that hold the bridge in position.

How long does a dental crown last?

According to the Canadian Dental Association, crowns are generally strong enough to last ten years or longer. However, the longevity of your crown will depend on its material, such as:

  • Metal – Generally lasts a long time and won’t chip, break, or wear down your opposing teeth. However, the gold colour does not look natural, especially on front teeth
  • Composite – Looks natural but tends to wear down and stain easily
  • Porcelain – Looks the most natural of all possible materials but may chip more easily. Consequently, we mainly use them on front teeth
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal – Stronger than porcelain and composite crowns but may expose metal if your gums are thin or shrink

The shelf-life of your crown also depends on your oral hygiene routine:

Make sure to brush and floss your crown every day, just like your natural teeth. Some crowns are not as strong as your natural teeth, so don’t use your teeth to open things!

How long does a tooth bridge last?

The Canadian Dental Association notes that bridges tend to last ten years or longer if you have a great oral hygiene routine.

In addition to brushing and flossing your bridge every day, we will show you how to use a floss threader to clean the hard-to-reach spaces around your prosthetic tooth or teeth.

Remember to book regular dental check-ups as tartar (hardened plaque that is difficult to remove) will more easily form around your bridge.

Book a consultation

Have weak, broken, discoloured, or misshapen teeth?

Don’t despair!

We give your smile the look, feel, and function you deserve and stop you from experiencing any issues with your TMJs or gum disease. If you think you may need a tooth crown or dental bridge, its best to book a free consultation with us.

If you’d like to get our professional opinion, or if you have any questions, please feel free to call us at: (780) 425-1646.

Do you have questions about tooth crowns or dental bridges?


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Highmoor Dental is Now Open!

The Alberta Dental Association & College has announced that all dental clinics can now open with a full provision of services. Our team is excited to see our wonderful patients!

To learn more, please visit the Alberta Dental Association & College website: