Compared to fillings which just cover a small portion of a tooth, a crown (or cap) encases the entire visible portion of a tooth and restores the tooth back to its originally size and shape. In effect, the crown acts as the tooth’s new outer surface. A crown is necessary when a tooth is broken or decayed to such an extent that fillings aren’t able to repair the problem. The crown is able to provide a protective shell around the damaged or decayed tooth to strengthen it, as well as to improve the appearance of the tooth. Crowns are also ideal for repairing a cracked tooth which often times is associated with pain and sensitivity. While crowns come in different materials, the most common crowns typically have some mixture of porcelain in them to give them a look and feel similar to a natural tooth.
How it’s Done
The first visit to your dentist involves reshaping the tooth and taking impressions which the laboratory will then use to create the crown. Typically your tooth will have to be reduced in size in order for the crown to fit properly. After the dentist reshapes your tooth, he will use a special material to create an impression of it. This impression will be sent to a dental laboratory to be made into a permanent crown. Before sending you home, the dentist will provide you with a temporary crown to cover your tooth in between visits. When you return the temporary crown will be removed and new permanent one will be cemented in place. Before cementing the permanent crown we will ensure that it fits comfortably and matches the color of your teeth.
We do not use a crown-milling machine which fabricates the “same day crowns” that many offices are advertising now because we believe that these crown-milling machines produce inferior crowns that simply do not have the same longevity as the crowns we provide here. These “same day crowns” are on average only lasting 5-10 years meanwhile most of our crowns are lasting 25 or more years. Our crowns may cost us more money to make, but they are hand-made with premium materials by one of the best laboratories in the country and provide a much better service to our patients. Which kind of crown would you want in your mouth?
A bridge is a false tooth that is used to fill the gap created by a missing tooth or teeth. Besides affecting cosmetics and chewing, a gap between your teeth can also cause your teeth to shift resulting in a change in your bite. Bridges help correct this problem by using the two adjacent teeth as anchors and a “bridging” pontic tooth to fill in the missing space. A bridge will feel and function like a real tooth and in many circumstances is a good alternative to implant placement.