When a tooth breaks
Or is at risk for breaking due to a large existing restoration or fracture lines present, a full coverage restoration is recommended. This full coverage restoration is called a crown, or you may know it as a “cap.” A crown covers the entirety of the tooth and helps protect the tooth from breaking. The material used for a crown is much stronger than that which is used for a filling. Crowns are made at a dental lab and therefore require two appointments for completion. At the first appointment, Dr. Knutson will prepare the tooth to allow for the crown to fit over and make an impression of the tooth to send to the lab. You will receive a temporary crown to wear home while your permanent crown is being made. The second appointment is typically a much shorter appointment where we verify the fit/shade/appearance of the crown and cement it permanently at that time.
A bridge is very similar to a crown, but it’s purpose is to replace a missing tooth. A bridge is so named as it “bridges the gap” between two teeth where one is missing. A bridge is essentially a crown on the two teeth on either side of a gap with a fake tooth connected to each crown. A bridge is permanently cemented and is not removable from your mouth. Bridges require a different technique for flossing which will be discussed with you at the delivery appointment and reviewed at your hygiene visits.
Veneers are used to cosmetically reshape/enhance your teeth. Veneers require less tooth removal than a crown and can provide a cosmetic change to your teeth if they are not heavily restored.