Fixed partial dentures encompass all forms of crowns and bridges. A crown is a single porcelain or metal tooth designed in a laboratory and cemented onto a prepared natural tooth. A bridge combines several crowns to replace one or more missing teeth; the crowns replacing missing teeth are held in place by crowns attached to natural teeth. Crowns and bridges can also be attached to dental implants instead of natural teeth.
Bridges are usually prescribed when one or more teeth are missing. Crowns may be recommended in the following situations:
If the natural tooth is too damaged by the cavity or cracking, a cast post and core may be required. This procedure forms a base, attaching to the interior of the root canal and serve as a support for the future crown.
It is important to note that a root canal is sometime required before a crown can be installed. This is a necessary step in building the cast post and core. Even if the tooth doesn’t appear to need a root canal at first, preparing the tooth for the crown may permanently irritate the pulp (the “nerve”). The professional will explain the extent of this risk depending on your situation.
The steps for creating a crown or bridge are as follows: preparing the teeth, taking an impression of the teeth, building and attaching a temporary bridge or crown, fitting and attaching the permanent crown or bridge sent by the laboratory a few weeks later.