A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface, restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens the tooth structure giving the tooth a longer life than it would have if restored by fillings or other types of restorations.
There are three common types of crowns: all porcelain (tooth colored), porcelain fused to metal, and gold. All porcelain crowns are very aesthetically pleasing, but usually recommended for front teeth only. Porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns are a metal-based crown with porcelain baked to the outside for a cosmetically appealing look.
Gold crowns are often recommended for back teeth where the crown cannot be seen. Gold crowns are most like your natural teeth and your tissue adapts best to this material.
If a crown is diagnosed for the extent of decay present, we will discuss what type of crown would be best for you.
Reasons for Crowns
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Cosmetic enhancement
- Decayed teeth
- Fractured fillings
- Large fillings
- Tooth has had a root canal
What Does Dental Crown Treatment Involve?
A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include numbing and preparing the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to fit the crown. After the preparation, the dentist will take impressions that will be used to create your custom crown at the dental lab. After the impression is taken, a temporary crown will be placed and you will wear this for approximately two weeks.
At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.
You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your crown. As always, proper oral hygiene will help extend the life of your new crown.
When you have a missing tooth, it is important that you put another tooth in its place. It may not seem like a single missing tooth is going to have a large impact in your mouth, but that is inaccurate. One missing tooth can do a lot of damage in your mouth. One of the options you have for replacing a missing tooth is a dental bridge. To find out if your mouth would do well with a dental bridge, call our offices. We will have Dr. Healey take a look at your mouth and give you his professional opinion on what the best remedy is to prevent further problems in your mouth.
What Does a Dental Bridge Do?
A dental bridge is designed to hold on to a false tooth, replacing a gap where a tooth was missing. The bridge is surrounded by crowns, which are then put on the adjacent teeth. It allows you to restore function to your mouth regarding both eating and chewing and concerning talking. A single missing tooth can cause a lot of damage to your mouth. The teeth surrounding the gap can begin to shift towards each other and even become loose, which can have a negative impact on your bite or lead to a loss of those teeth. This can impact the teeth on the opposing jaw and cause them to shift as well. By putting a bridge in place, it can keep teeth in place, and it can prevent the damage caused by all of this shifting around.
Teeth from the opposing jaw can also begin to extend into the gap, or twist to try and fill the gap. This can lead to you having pain in those teeth, or it can lead to teeth that are more prone to decay because they may be harder to keep clean. The bone beneath the gap where the tooth went missing is also at risk since it is not being used the same way it was with the original tooth. This can change the health of the bone, and even lead to struggles for the jaw when it comes to supporting your facial features properly.
How Long Does a Dental Bridge Take?
We can normally place a dental bridge in two visits to our office. During your initial visit, we will prepare your teeth that lie on either side of the gap from the missing tooth. These are the teeth your bridge is going to attach to. We then take an impression so that we can send that to the lab where your bridge will be created. The lab will then make your bridge and send it back to us. We place a temporary bridge in your mouth to help keep your mouth protected while we wait.
Once the permanent dental bridge is back, we then have you come back. We will fit the new bridge, and make any necessary adjustments. We then cement your new bridge in place, and you are good to go. These bridges do not come out and must be taken care of like your regular teeth with your hygiene habits.