Crowns Or "Caps"
Crowns are used to restore cracked, broken, badly decayed, root canal treated teeth and damaged teeth. There are many types of crowns: all-porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns (as needed), or full cast gold crowns on molars (as needed) for restoring teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. Design and placement takes two or more visits. At your first visit, our dentist will prepare your tooth for the crown, take a dental impression, and fit you with a temporary. A skilled ceramist at a trusted lab will hand make your crown to our exact specifications. When we receive your custom dental work back, we'll remove your temporary and permanently bond your crown in place. Your dentist will check your bite and adjust your crown as needed to ensure a precise, comfortable fit. The crown then becomes your tooth’s chewing surface, and permanently covers the tooth (like a football helmet) to restore form and function and provide long-lasting protection .
All Ceramic Crowns
All-ceramic crowns look great and like tooth-colored fillings can be glazed to match your existing teeth. These types of crowns are popular with most dental professionals and our trained dentists choice of material when possible. The material can be molded to look and feel more like your natural tooth than traditional crown materials such as amalgams or porcelain fused crowns. Each all-ceramic crown is uniquely created for each patient. The hand-crafted restoration is made at a specialty dental lab.
Gold crowns are made of cast gold, a technique that has been in existence for over a hundred years and can be very successful when treating Molars that act as the main chewing and grinding teeth. Full-cast gold crowns are the standard for long-term durability of crowned molars. As aesthetics has become more of a factor, the use of gold is declining. Newer ceramics have made it possible to crown molars and have long lasting wear and tear.
Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns
Porcelain-fused-to-metal restorations are somewhat of a hybrid between all-metal and all-ceramic crowns. When they're constructed, the dental technician first makes a thin thimble of metal that fits over the tooth. A veneering of porcelain is then fused over it in a high-heat oven, giving the crown both it's tooth-like shape and color. Dentists have been placing porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns for patients since the late 1950's. And over the decades that followed, they became the "standard" for restoring front teeth, and back teeth where a tooth-colored restoration was required. In more recent decades, the popularity of PFM's have lost ground to more modern techniques (i.e., all-ceramic crowns constructed using engineered/synthetic porcelain).
Onlays and Inlays
Onlays and inlays are a more conservative option than preparing the tooth for a crown. These custom made porcelain restorations fit into a tooth similar to a filling, yet they are milled restorations made at a dental lab, much like a crown. Inlays fit between cusps, while onlays fit over one or more cusps. (the bumps on top of a tooth are called cusps) Inlays and onlays allow a patient to retain more natural tooth structure, which is always best.
Not every situation is right for an onlay or inlay, but one of our experienced dentist will assess your problem and determine the best solution for you. Because they are created in a dental laboratory like a crown, inlays and onlays require two appointments. At the first visit, we will prepare your tooth by removing your tooth decay or old filling. We will then take a dental impression and send it to our dental laboratory so that a technician can create a custom inlay or onlay for you. Sometimes when prepping for these restorations, it may lead a crown depending on the size of the prepared area after being prepped. One of our experienced dentists will determine the best procedure during this process and what material to use for this procedure as well. You'll wear a temporary until the dental laboratory delivers your final restoration. At the second appointment, the dentist will remove your temporary and cement your final inlay or onlay into place on the tooth. After polishing and modifying the restoration as necessary to ensure proper bite alignment, you'll enjoy a stronger, healthier smile for years to come.
If you are missing a tooth, a permanent bridge can often be made to replace it. It will look and feel natural, without hooks or clasps, and stay in permanently, allowing normal function. When teeth are missing the remaining teeth begin to change position, and this can lead to numerous problems, including loss of more teeth. A fixed bridge will prevent teeth from shifting, and stabilize your bite. Bridges can be made with various materials like porcelain, gold, or porcelain fused to metal just like crowns. When possible our dentists will fabricated an all porcelain bridge.
Placing a bridge usually takes more than one visit. On the first visit our dentist will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap. The bridge will later be attached to these teeth. Like a crown preparation, your dentist will prepare your tooth for the bridge on each side of the gap, take a dental impression, and fit you with a temporary. A skilled ceramist at a trusted lab will hand make your bridge to our exact specifications. When we receive your custom dental work back, we'll remove your temporary and permanently bond your custom made crown in place. Your dentist will check your bite and adjust your bite as needed to ensure a precise, comfortable fit.
When talking about bridges, our dentist may use these terms:
~Pontic: The replacement for your missing tooth
~Crown/Abutment: A "Cap" or "Crown that fits the attachment teeth.
Advantages of Fixed Bridges:
Look, feel, and function like natural teeth, don't require removal for cleaning, cost less than implants in most cases.
Disadvantages of Fixed Bridges:
Requires preparing the teeth next to the missing tooth, may require extra effort to clean underneath the pontic
We also offer dental implant treatment options, which often is a better alternative to bridges when you are looking to replace missing teeth. If you are missing a tooth, call our dental office today to set up a consultation to discuss the different treatment options with you.