Crowns & Bridges
A crown completely covers a tooth above the gum line. This is in contrast to a dental veneer, which only covers a tooth's front surface and needs natural tooth structure to support it. Therefore, if a tooth is missing a significant amount of structure above the gum line, a crown would be the restoration of choice.
Crowns strengthen damaged teeth, allowing them to function normally again. When crafted from today's high-tech porcelains (dental ceramics), crowns are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. They can even be designed to improve upon a tooth's original appearance.
There are other materials besides porcelain that we can use to make dental crowns, depending on what qualities are most important. For durability, cast gold can't be beat. However, this is not always the most aesthetic choice — especially towards the front of the mouth. Other possibilities include porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns (PFM), which have a metal interior for strength and a porcelain exterior for a more natural appearance, and all-porcelain crowns with zirconia, representing the strongest ceramic. We would be happy to discuss the pros and cons of these various options with you.
A crown is used to repair a damaged tooth that cannot be repaired by a filling. The damage may be due to decay, accident, wear, or grinding. The procedure for a crown requires two appointments. During the first appointment, the tooth needing a crown is prepared to support the crown and an impression is made. A temporary crown is placed for the time period in which a dental laboratory is manufacturing the crown. At the second appointment, the crown is cemented into place. Because a local anesthetic is used, there is no pain during either of these visits. Tooth colored crowns match the existing teeth and look as natural as the surrounding teeth.
Crowning or Capping a Tooth
After the tooth is prepared, impressions of your teeth are taken, either digitally or with reliable, putty-like impression materials, and sent to the dental laboratory. There, the impressions will be used to make models of your teeth for the creation of a crown. The models will serve as guides to the highly skilled lab technicians, who will ensure that your new crown is designed to enhance your smile and function well within your bite.
Before you leave the office, a temporary crown will be attached to your tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is ready. At the second visit, your permanent crown will be attached to your tooth with either a resin that hardens when exposed to a special light source, or a type of permanent cement.
I had a crown put in and it fits perfectly. In fact, within minutes of leaving the office, I felt as if it was my original tooth, smooth, no pain, very natural. As always, GREAT WORK everyone! – Don
A bridge is used to replace a missing tooth. A dental bridge is a false tooth that is fused between two crowns and fills in the area left by a missing tooth. The procedure for a bridge also requires just two appointments. An impression is made for the crowns on either side of the missing tooth and the tooth area that is missing. On the second appointment, the bridge is cemented into place. Unlike dentures, a bridge is fixed into place and does not need to be removed.
Creating a Bridge
The number of abutment teeth necessary to replace missing teeth is influenced by the number of missing teeth, the size and length of the abutment tooth roots, the amount of bone support each abutment tooth has, as well as where in the mouth the missing tooth is located. For example, if you have three missing teeth, four abutment teeth may be necessary, thereby creating a seven-tooth bridge. Engineering and designing of the bridge requires an understanding of how to replace teeth, as well as the biology of the supporting gum and bone tissue.
Caring for Your Crowns & Bridgework
Crowns and bridgework require the same conscientious care as your natural teeth. Be sure to brush and floss between all of your teeth — restored and natural — every day to reduce the buildup of dental plaque. When you have crowns, it is even more important to maintain your regular schedule of cleanings at the dental office. Avoid using your teeth as tools (to open packages, for example). If you have a grinding habit, wearing a nightguard would be a good idea to protect your teeth and your investment.
Replace your missing and broken teeth with top-quality crown and bridgework from Edward M. Logan, DDS - O Fallon Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in O Fallon, MO. Call our office today at 6365615445 to schedule your appointment.
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