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Crowns & Bridges

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Crowns and bridges can be used to fix a variety of dental problems, including replacing damaged or missing teeth. Crowns are also used to protect teeth that have undergone root canals.

Could you benefit from a crown or bridge? Speak to your dentist during your next dental exam.

Crowns

Crowns, also called caps, are hollow artificial teeth that are used to cover teeth that have suffered damage or decay. Crowns can also be used for cosmetic reasons by improving the look of stained, cracked, or otherwise blemished teeth.

To install a crown, your dentist must first file down your natural tooth to make room for it. If you are to be fitted with a temporary crown, your dentist will take an impression of your natural tooth before it’s filed and use this to create your custom crown. Next, the crown is installed. Once your dentist ensures the crown is sitting properly and that your bite is correct, they will cement it into place.

If you are fitted with a temporary crown, you must return for your follow up visit so your permanent crown can be installed. Temporary crowns are only made of restorative material (the same material used for fillings) and are not designed to withstand long-term wear and tear. A damaged or broken crown leaves your tooth vulnerable to infection.

Types of Crowns

Crowns can be made of many different materials, each of which has its own strengths and drawbacks. Depending on which tooth requires a crown, your dentist will determine which material, or combination of materials, is best suited to your needs.

Crowns are available in a variety of different materials or material combinations including metal, composite, porcelain, and porcelain-fused-to-metal. At Shawnessy Dental, we also use IPS Empress, a ceramic material that can be used for crowns, inlays, onlays, and veneers. To ensure your crown matches your natural teeth perfectly, we use VITA Easyshade.

Metal crowns, which are made of gold, are the most durable type of crown. Metal crowns last a long time, rarely chip or break, and don’t typically wear down the natural teeth located opposite them when you bite or chew.

However, gold crowns don’t blend in well with your surrounding natural teeth and are viewed as unsightly. As such, gold is rarely used for front teeth.

Composite crowns look like natural teeth and are more durable than porcelain crowns. However, both chewing and brushing your teeth can wear down the highly polished surface of composite crowns. When composite crowns become worn, they stain more easily.

Porcelain crowns look the most like natural teeth, but are much more brittle than metal or composite crowns, and can chip easily. Since they are relatively fragile porcelain crowns are generally only used on front teeth, and are rarely used for molars or premolars.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns combine the durability of metal crowns with the natural look of porcelain crowns and are less prone to chipping than their full porcelain or composite counterparts. However, depending on the design of the crown, a small amount of metal may become visible if your gums are thin or recede.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges, also called fixed bridges or fixed dental prosthesis’, are used to replace one or more missing teeth. The bridge consists of one or more artificial teeth fused between two dental crowns and extends across the gap created by the missing teeth.

Bridges can be held in place using either your natural teeth or supported by dental implants. Bridges are permanent, and can’t be removed.

Types of Dental Bridges

There are four types of dental bridges: Traditional bridges, implant-supported bridges, resin-bonded bridges, and cantilever bridges. Which style of bridge you require depends on the location of your missing tooth or teeth, as well as the overall condition of your teeth, gums, and mouth.

All bridges are made using custom-moulded teeth, allowing them to easily blend in with your natural teeth.

Traditional bridges are used when you have healthy natural teeth on either side of the gap. If you are only missing one tooth, your dentist may suggest a dental implant instead of a traditional bridge.

To secure your bridge in place, your dentist will first file down the two healthy teeth flanking your gap. However, if you opt for a dental implant, your dentist won’t need to file down any of your healthy teeth.

Implant-supported bridges are typically used for patients who don’t have healthy teeth to support a traditional bridge and may also be used if you are missing all of your natural teeth. Like a traditional bridge, an implant-supported bridge is used to fill in the gap left by your missing teeth, but instead of anchoring the bridge to your healthy teeth it’s supported by small titanium implants in your jaw.

Not all patients are suitable candidates for dental implants, so your dentist will need to examine your mouth and jaw thoroughly before proceeding with this option.

Resin-bonded bridges, also called Maryland bridges, are specifically designed to replace missing front teeth. Resin-bonded bridges consist of artificial teeth fused to metal bands, which are then cemented to the backs of your natural teeth using resin.

Cantilever bridges are very similar to traditional bridges but are used when you only have healthy teeth on one side of the gap. As such, this type of bridge is only anchored on one side.

Caring for Your Bridge

A well-cared-for bridge should last you about ten years, or maybe even longer. However, just like your natural teeth, you should be sure to brush your bridge at least twice per day, and floss around it at least once per day or anytime you get food or other particulates stuck to it.
Your dentist will teach you how to properly floss around and underneath the artificial teeth in your bridge using a floss threader.

Even if you no longer have any natural teeth, it is still vital that you go for regular dental exams and cleanings. These exams help keep your bridge clean and your gums healthy and give your dentist the chance to address any questions or concerns you may have.

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We are conveniently located on Shawville Boulevard, between Lowe’s and Canadian Tire.

Address

275 Shawville Blvd SE
Calgary, AB T2Y 3H9

Contact Information

Phone: (403) 254-4278
[email protected]
Monday
11 AM – 7 PM
Tuesday
8 AM – 3 PM
Wednesday
11 AM – 7 PM
Thursday
8 AM – 3 PM
Friday
10 AM – 4 PM
Saturday
9 AM – 4 PM
Sunday
Closed

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