Crowns & Bridges
Crowns and bridges are fixed prosthetic restorations cemented onto existing teeth or implants. Crowns are used to cover a damaged tooth, to improve its appearance, shape, and alignment. Crowns are used to replace a large filling, protect a weak tooth from fracturing, restore a fractured tooth, cover an implant or discolored tooth.
Bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth, spanning the space where the tooth is missing. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause remaining teeth to shift, resulting in misalignment creating a bad bite. Bridges prevent the teeth from shifting. Bridges are cemented onto natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space.
Before either a crown or bridge can be made, the tooth or teeth must be reduced in size so the crown or bridge will properly cover it. The dentist then takes an impression to provide an exact mold for the restoration. Crowns and bridges are available in a variety of materials, so it is best to discuss with the dentist which would be right to meet your needs.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) restorations consist of a metal core inside and porcelain outside that are fused together. PFM crowns and bridges are durable and look like your normal teeth. They are available in a wide variety of shades, so the color can blend and match the color of adjacent teeth. Porcelain provides the most natural appearance of any other dental crown or bridge.
In PFM restorations, the dentist reshapes the tooth or teeth involved. An impression is made of the prepared tooth. An acrylic temporary is fitted over prepared tooth while the final restoration is fabricated. Once the fit, shape, and color of the tooth are satisfactory, the crown is cemented permanently into place.
Don’t want to wait for multiple visits for a crown? With our CEREC® machine, that is possible. The CEREC® software allows dentists to quickly and efficiently create the restoration for your tooth. First, as with any other restoration, the dentist will remove any decayed or weakened tooth structure. Then, the CEREC® machine takes a digital picture and converts it into a 3D virtual model, where the dentist then creates the restoration and sends the design to the in office milling machine. A ceramic block is placed into the milling machine, and about 10-20 minutes later, the ceramic restoration is complete and is ready to bond onto your tooth. This provides a permanent restoration in one appointment, with no need for a temporary, or mulriple visits to the office.
All-porcelain crowns are considered the most beautiful because they give a natural translucent look to the tooth. Therefore, these crowns are best in appearance and matching natural teeth. All porcelain crowns are also best for people who are allergic to metals.
A dental implant is a metallic tooth root set in the jaw to hold a replacement tooth. A crown is attached to the implant after healing. Implants do not rely on adjacent teeth for support. They prevent bone loss and gum recession, as well as look and feel like natural teeth. Implants are durable and allow patients to speak and eat with comfort and confidence. Implants, with proper placement and maintenance, can last a lifetime.
Gold crowns offer a great fit, increased durability, and are less abrasive than other forms of crowns. Although gold restorations are the longest lasting, they are usually not a patient’s first choice because they don’t have the esthetic appeal that other materials offer. They are most suitable for back teeth, where they are not as visible. Gold restorations are also suitable for patients who clench or grind their teeth.