If you have a missing or badly damaged tooth, we may recommend that you get a crown or a bridge, which are common procedures made from different types of materials.
Dr. Thomas D. Sokoly of Sokoly Dental makes custom crowns and bridges and fastens them securely in place in your mouth. Let’s look at the process of getting a crown or bridge and the materials we may use to create it.
The purpose of a crown or a bridge
A crown or a bridge is intended to replace a badly damaged or missing tooth. For example, if you’ve had a root canal, you may also need a crown due to the amount of your tooth’s surface that needs to be removed during your procedure.
If a tooth has to be pulled instead, due to decay or cracking the tooth, you may be more likely to get a bridge instead. In that case, Dr. Sokoly files down one or two nearby teeth to act as anchors for the bridge, which covers the space left behind by your tooth.
Some of the reasons you might need a crown or bridge include:
- Stabilizing a weakened tooth due to a crack or tooth decay
- Repairing a broken tooth
- Covering and strengthen a badly damaged tooth, such as a tooth that has a large filling where little of the tooth’s surface remains
- Encasing a dental implant
- Anchoring a bridge
While there are many reasons why we may recommend a crown or a bridge, it’s usually the best option for you to keep your teeth as healthy as possible.
The materials used in crowns and bridges
Some of the materials used to make crowns and bridges include:
- Gold and other metal alloys
- Stainless steel
- Porcelain fused to metal (abbreviated as PFM)
All of these choices are very durable. Most dental insurance companies cover replacement crowns or bridges every 8 years, so you can expect it to last at least that long, although many people have had their crowns or bridges for over 20 years.
The process of getting a crown or bridge
When you come into Dr. Sokoly’s office for a crown or bridge, here’s what you can expect.
First, you may have X-rays done, so he can see the extent of your tooth’s damage. Then, you’re given a local anesthetic to numb your mouth. He then prepares your tooth or teeth for the crown or bridge by filing down the teeth that need the crown or bridge put on top of it. Next, he creates a custom mold of your tooth using a type of putty. Finally, he puts a temporary crown in place.
While you wait for your permanent crown to come back from the lab (which usually only takes a couple of weeks), be cautious of your temporary crown. Avoid sticky foods and gum, for example.
Finally, when your permanent crown or bridge comes back from the lab, you return to our office for your dental restoration to be cemented into place.
Dr. Sokoly makes sure your “bite” is properly adjusted and stable before you leave. As time goes by, it’s easy to forget that you have a crown or bridge at all.
If you think you might be a candidate for a crown or bridge, contact Dr. Thomas D. Sokoly of Sokoly Dental today or make an appointment online.