CROWNS AND BRIDGES
A crown is a covering that will wrap and protect the entire surface of a tooth, allowing it to look and function just like the original tooth. Crowns work to strengthen the tooth while protecting the existing structure, extending the life of the tooth longer that it would be with a filling or another restoration.
Reasons for Choosing a Dental Crown
Dental crowns can correct a variety of problems that you might be experiencing with your teeth:
• Fractured or broken teeth
• Severely decayed teeth
• Cosmetic imperfections
• Fractured fillings
• To protect a tooth after a root canal
Types of Dental Crowns
There are three main types of dental crowns available, and we’ll help you choose the right one for your mouth:
• All Porcelain: The all porcelain crown is one of the most aesthetically pleasing options, but it is generally only recommended for the front teeth. When placed on the rear teeth, the risk of fracture with these crowns will increase.
• Gold: Gold crowns are extremely durable, and they are best suited for the back molars where they cannot be seen. Gold crowns are useful for people who clench or grind their teeth. Gold crowns tend to be most similar to your natural teeth, which will allow the tissue to quickly adapt to the restoration, and a minimal amount of your natural tooth structure will need to be removed to have the crown put into place.
• Porcelain Fused to Metal: This type of crown will feature a metal base with porcelain attached to the outside, making the restoration more attractive than an entirely metal option. If you want the durability of a gold crown, but want your tooth to look as natural as possible, this would be a great selection. Some risk does still exist regarding fractures, but in the event of a chip or break, it is usually just the outer porcelain portion that is damaged.
The Dental Crown Procedure
If you’ll be getting a dental crown, you can plan on having two appointments to complete the process. At your first visit, the tooth will be prepared by removing decay, and the surface will be shaped so that it can fit the crown. We will take impressions of your teeth so that your customized crown can be created, and you’ll likely wear a temporary restoration while we await your crown to be finished.
At your follow-up appointment, we’ll take off your temporary crown and will carefully place the permanent one into place. We’ll also ensure proper bite and spacing.
After your appointment, we’ll encourage you to follow-up with us regularly. While proper oral hygiene is essential, you’ll also need regular dental care to ensure that your crown is in the best possible shape.
Dental bridges are fixed appliances that will work to restore the structure and function of your teeth after tooth loss. These appliances are non-removable, so they will become a permanent part of your smile. There are many different types of bridges, and we can help you to choose the option that is right for your unique dental needs.
A traditional bridge is the most common type of bridge that is used to improve tooth loss, and it is made of metal and porcelain. The bridge contains two porcelain crowns fused to metal that will slip over two anchoring teeth found on either side of the artificial teeth. The bridge then fills the gap that was created due to tooth loss.
Reasons for Choosing a Fixed Bridge
There are numerous reasons that you might choose a fixed bridge to correct your tooth loss:
• Restore the smile
• Improve your ability to speak and chew normally
• Maintain your normal face shape
• Fill in the spaces left by missing teeth
• Prevent the remaining teeth from shifting positions
• Upgrade from removable dentures
Getting Your Fixed Bridge
The process of getting your bridge will generally require at least two appointments with your dentist. Your teeth will be numbed to keep you comfortable throughout the procedure, and the anchoring teeth will then be prepared by having a thin portion of the enamel removed in order to make room for a crown. Molds will be made of your teeth to be sent into a dental lab, and the bridge is fabricated at this facility. You may also be able to wear a temporary bridge until your follow-up appointment, which will usually be scheduled about two weeks out.
At your next visit, we’ll remove your temporary bridge, and the new bridge will be checked for proper fit. Once it is determined that the appliance is ready, it will be bonded or cemented into place.
Caring for Your Dental Bridge
Bridges are created to be highly durable, and with proper care, they can last for several years. However, even normal wear can require them to need replacement, so be sure to follow-up with your dentist regularly to ensure that your appliance is still in good shape. You should also be sure to brush and floss properly in order to keep your remaining teeth healthy and avoid future tooth loss.