How Many Appointments Are Necessary for Dental Crowns and Bridges?

Dental crowns and bridges are fixed devices that are placed on implants or existing teeth. Crowns are used to reinforce a single tooth, while dental bridges replace two or more teeth. If you are considering a dental crown or bridge procedure, it is normal to wonder how many appointments you will need. Learn more about the process, so you will know what to expect.

The process for dental crowns and bridges

While crowns and bridges are different devices, both procedures require two office visits. During the first visit, the dentist prepares the area and takes an impression. The prosthesis is fitted during the second visit.

Preparing the teeth

The dentist begins by numbing the patient’s mouth. Then, the dentist prepares the area for the crown or bridge. The size of the teeth must be reduced to accommodate the bridge or crown. For a crown, the dentist prepares a single tooth. For a bridge, the dentist must prepare the teeth on either side to hold the bridge.

After the teeth are prepared, the dentist takes an impression to send to a dental lab. The lab constructs the bridge or crown based on the impression. The dentist then places a temporary bridge or crown on the prepared teeth. This protects the teeth while the laboratory makes the bridge or crown.

Caring for a temporary crown or bridge

Temporary crowns and bridges are not as durable as permanent devices. Patients must take special care after being fitted with a temporary prosthesis. Patients need to brush twice a day, and flossing is still necessary. However, instead of pulling debris up with dental floss, it is recommended that people pull it out of the side to prevent the bridge or crown from dislodging.

People should also avoid chewing on the side with the temporary device. Putting too much pressure on a temporary crown or bridge can cause it to crack. That will no longer be a problem after the permanent device is placed. It is also recommended that patients avoid eating sticky foods when wearing a temporary crown or bridge. Simply eating these foods on the other side of the mouth is not enough since the sticky substance can travel to the temporary prosthesis.

Getting dental bridges and crowns

It usually takes two weeks for dental crowns and bridges to arrive from the laboratory. Patients come back to the dentist office when the device is finished. Then, the dentist removes the temporary device and replaces it with the permanent one. The dentist checks the fit before cementing dental crowns and bridges in place. It is critical that the new device does not negatively impact the bite. Once the fit and bite are checked, the prosthesis is cemented in place and the patient is sent home.

Getting dental crowns or bridges

If you have damaged or missing teeth, a dental crown or bridge might be the solution. Begin by meeting with your dentist. Your dentist will ensure you are a good candidate for one of these devices. Then, the dentist will prepare your teeth and fit you with a temporary crown or bridge. You will come back to the office in approximately two weeks to get your permanent dental device.

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