A dental crown restores a tooth's shape, size, and strength. It fully encases the visible portion of your tooth or dental implant. Once it is permanently bonded in place, only a Dentist or Specialist can remove it.
With proper care and good oral hygiene, the life of a crown can range from 5 to 15 years.
If a natural tooth-colored porcelain crown is chosen, our CEREC® CAD/CAM treatment gives patients a completed permanent crown in just one office visit. Other types of crowns require two office visits.
A crown may be prescribed by your Dentist to:
Restore and protect a tooth that is worn, decayed, cracked, or broken
Protect and support a tooth after a very large filling or root canal treatment
Cover a dental implant
Hold a dental bridge or other prosthetic device in place
Improve your smile by covering a misshapen or severely discolored tooth
Your Dentist will recommend the best type of crown for your dental restoration needs based on the chewing placement and structure of the tooth or implant that requires protection.
There are three types of crowns. Each type has its own characteristics and qualities:
Porcelain is attractive, strong, stable, and highly resistant to wear. It offers a high level of biocompatibility because it does not contain metal.
A porcelain crown provides the best natural color match to the rest of your teeth and is an excellent choice for front teeth. The aesthetic quality of a porcelain crown requires that the Dentist be highly skilled in the use of CEREC® CAD/CAM technology.
Metal offers strength and endurance. A metal crown may be recommended for back teeth where the forces of biting and chewing are the greatest. A metal crown rarely chips or breaks. In addition, it requires minimal removal of tooth structure.
A gold or other high-noble metal crown offers biocompatibility. A base metal crown is often the least expensive treatment options; however, it lacks biocompatibility and may cause allergic reactions or gumline discoloration.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal offers the benefits of a natural surface color that resembles the rest of your teeth and the strength of a metal substructure.
While there are several advantages to selecting this type of crown, it requires the removal of more tooth structure than other types of crowns. This means that there is greater potential for patient discomfort during the treatment procedure.
Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap -- these two or more anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth -- and a false tooth/teeth in between. These false teeth are called pontics and can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants.
What are the benefits of a dental bridge?
Restore your smile
Restore the ability to properly chew and speak
Maintain the shape of your face
Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
Types of bridges:
There are three main types of dental bridges:
Traditional bridges involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic in between. Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge and are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
Cantilever bridges are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. This is not very common any more and is not recommended in the back of the mouth where it can put too much force on other teeth and damage them.
Maryland bonded bridges (also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge) are made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal or porcelain framework. Metal or porcelain wings on each side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth.
What Is the Process for Getting a Dental Bridge?
During the first visit for getting a dental bridge, the abutment teeth are prepared. Preparation involves recontouring these teeth by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Next, impressions of the teeth are made, which serve as a model from which the bridge, pontic, and crowns will be made by a dental lab. Your dentist will make a temporary bridge to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the bridge is being made.
During the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed and the new porcelain or metal bridge will be checked and adjusted, as necessary, to achieve a proper fit. Multiple visits may be required to check the fit of the metal framework and bite. This is dependent on each individual's case. If the dental bridge is a fixed bridge, your dentist may temporarily cement it in place for a couple of weeks to make sure it is fitting properly. After a couple weeks, the bridge is cemented into place.