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 tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.
Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular, because they resemble your natural teeth. They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.
Reasons for crowns:
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Cosmetic enhancement
- Decayed teeth
- Fractured fillings
- Large fillings
- Tooth has a root canal
What does getting a crown involve?
A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.
While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.
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 new crown.
Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances. Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by a dentist. The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile! Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.
Reasons for dental implants:
- Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
- Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
- Restore a patient’s confident smile.
- Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.
- Restore or enhance facial tissues.
- Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.
What does getting dental implants involve?
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.
X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for up to six months. Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to place the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place. With other implants the post and anchor are already attached and placed at the same time.
After several weeks of healing the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor. Because several fittings may be required, this step may take one to two months to complete. After a healing period, the artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.
You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant.
A sturdy structure composed of two crowns and a prosthetic tooth. Dental bridges are used to “bridge” the gaps where teeth are missing.
A dental bridge is a common, affordable, time-tested, and low-risk treatment for missing teeth. The dental bridge is so called because it literally bridges the gap created when teeth are lost. The typical bridge comprises one or more artificial teeth, known as pontics, which are held in place by two dental crowns, or abutments. The replacement teeth used in bridges are commonly made from porcelain for aesthetic considerations.
To place a traditional bridge, a dentist will secure the crowns to the teeth on either side of a gap, anchoring the pontic or pontics so that they fill the space. The result is a smile that is fully restored in terms of function and appearance.
However, bridges can also be attached to dental implants, which do not rely on natural teeth for support. To affix this type of restoration, a dentist will surgically embed tiny bio-compatible posts made of titanium in a patient’s jawbone, and these posts secure the entire restoration. Dental implants are the only dental restorations that mimic the entire structure of missing teeth, including the roots, making them the strongest, most stable method of securing bridges available.
No matter what type of bridge a patient receives, the restoration will have significant aesthetic and practical benefits. The new teeth will restore dental functionality and oral health. Additionally, thanks to new dental technology and aesthetic advances, today’s dental bridges are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth.
Reasons for dental bridges:
- Restore the smile
- Improve your ability to speak and chew normally
- Maintain your normal face shape
- Fill in the spaces left by missing teeth
- Prevent the remaining teeth from shifting positions
- Upgrade from removable partial dentures
What does getting dental bridges involve?
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.
Dental fillings are used to restore teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay. The development of tooth-colored fillings has provided dentist and patients with a safer and more attractive alternative to silver amalgam fillings.
By precisely matching tooth-colored composite fillings with the natural color of your teeth, a skilled cosmetic dentist is able to provide you with white fillings that are virtually invisible. The removal of old amalgam fillings can provide patients with white fillings that provide a more pleasing, silver-free smile.
Reasons for dental filling:
- Caries (tooth decay)
- Tooth wear (sensitivity)
- A previous filling has failed
- Cracked tooth
What does getting dental filling involve?
During the first visit, decay or an old filling is removed. An impression is taken to record the shape of the tooth being repaired and the teeth around it. The impression is sent to a dental lab that will make the indirect filling. A temporary filling (described below) is placed to protect the tooth while the restoration is being made. During the second visit, the temporary filling is removed, and the dentist will check the fit of the indirect restoration. Provided the fit is acceptable, it will be permanently cemented into place.
There are two types of indirect fillings — inlays and onlays.
- Inlays are similar to fillings but the entire work lies within the cusps (bumps) on the chewing surface of the tooth.
- Onlays are more extensive than inlays, covering one or more cusps. Onlays are sometimes called partial crowns.
Inlays and onlays are more durable and last much longer than traditional fillings. They can be made of tooth-colored composite resin, porcelain, or gold. Inlays and onlays weaken the tooth structure, but do so to a much lower extent than traditional fillings.
Another type of inlay and onlay — direct inlays and onlays — follow similar processes and procedures as the indirect, but the difference is that direct inlays and onlays are made in the dental office and can be placed in one visit. The type of inlay or onlay used depends on how much sound tooth structure remains and consideration of any cosmetic concerns.