Crowns and Bridges
Cover Damaged Teeth or Replace Missing Teeth with Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges
Dental crowns and bridges are restorative dentistry solutions that allow a dentist to help save a patient’s natural tooth or replace several teeth at one time without the need for dentures.
When Is a Dental Crown Necessary?
A dental crown is used to cover a tooth that is weakened because of decay or fracture. For people who have weak teeth because of trauma, genetics, or poor oral hygiene, crowns do the important jobs that your natural teeth should be doing. The crowns stay solidly in place and bite and chew as teeth should.
Dental crowns are used for cosmetic purposes as well, repairing issues like unsightly large fillings, not only to repair a damaged tooth. Crowns are often used in conjunction with root canal treatment, being used to cover the tooth that underwent the root canal therapy. When a large cavity threatens the health of a tooth, crowns are the effective and healthy cover-up solution.
What Is the Dental Crown Process?
Before a dental crown can be placed, the tooth it will be resting upon must be ground down so that it is smaller and so the crown can fit. A mold is taken of your mouth so that the crown can be customized to fit you perfectly. Once ready, and sometimes the crown is available that very day directly from your dental office through the CEREC technology, the crown is then placed over the tooth and bonded using dental cement so that it looks and functions just like a natural tooth.
Are There Different Types of Crowns?
No matter their form, crowns are used to improve the strength and appearance of teeth. The most common types of dental crowns come in the following options, not all of which may be used by your dentist:
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns: Often referred to as PFM crowns, these prosthetics are composed of a porcelain exterior and metal interior. Because the porcelain is matched to the shade of the rest of your teeth, the crowns look completely natural. PFM crowns are very strong, but the metal component can cause problems for some wearers, particularly those who have a metal allergy.
- All-porcelain crowns: Also called “all-ceramic crowns,” all-porcelain crowns are made with porcelain, of course, or engineered dental ceramic. This type of crown is very friendly for patients who do suffer from a metal allergy. They are aesthetically pleasing and function as fully as a natural tooth would.
- Metal crowns: Made entirely of metal like gold or another alloy, metal crowns are very durable. Crowns of this nature are not as popular as all-porcelain crowns because they are so noticeable. A metal crown will of course never match your natural teeth.
- Ceramic zirconia crowns: Fracture-resistant and incredibly strong, ceramic zirconia crowns are a great option to cover teeth that have been severely stained or damaged. Ceramic zirconia crowns metal-free and they are made to match the shade of your other teeth – both elements make this type of crown a very popular option.
When Is a Dental Bridge Necessary?
While crowns are often used to repair one damaged tooth, a fixed dental bridge is a common replacement solution for one or more missing teeth and usually includes dental crowns as part of the solution.
It’s important to acknowledge that the gap left by a missing tooth can cause the remaining teeth in your mouth to shift or move. Over time, this hole in your smile can also alter the effectiveness of your jawbone and, ultimately, change the shape of your face. It is important for your oral health and overall appearance to replace any missing teeth. For the patient who finds a dental bridge and its upkeep unappealing, dental implants are a popular and extremely effective alternative for replacing missing teeth.
What Is the Dental Bridge Process?
A dental bridge consists of a pontic – an artificial tooth – and crowns, which are “caps” that go over the teeth on both sides of the bridge. These dental crowns serve as anchors to stabilize the bridge. The bridge and crowns are bonded to the teeth, eliminating the gap that was in your smile and returning to you a fully functional set of teeth.
Dental bridges come in several different types of material like dental crowns, but are traditionally made from porcelain fused to metal or ceramic.
Ultimately, dental crowns and bridges are designed so that they are able to properly strengthen and support your tooth or teeth while returning them to the original shape, size, and function.
If you are dealing with missing teeth, damaged teeth, or unattractive fillings or tooth stains, visit Dr. Shaista Najmi at Ivory Dental to discuss whether a dental crown or dental bridge is the right solution for you.