Dental Crowns, Bridges, and Implants
Dental crowns, bridges, and implants are just a few ways we can restore health, function, and beauty to your smile!
A crown is a fixed restoration that is cemented onto your tooth. It functions the same way that a natural tooth would. Crowns restore shape, strength, and function to damaged teeth. Dental crowns can also be used to achieve beautiful aesthetics, giving you even more reason to smile!
Your dentist may recommend a dental crown for several reasons. Crowns may be planned to replace large fillings with fractures or new decay, to address cracks in the teeth, to fix broken or worn teeth, to cover discolored or poorly contoured teeth, or to protect root canal treated teeth from future infection or fracture.
A dental crown is usually completed in two appointments. At the first appointment, the tooth is prepared for the crown. Any decay, failing restorations, and compromised tooth structure is removed and the tooth is built back up to a strong foundation. At this appointment we will take detailed impressions of your teeth, and we will make you a temporary crown to wear while the final crown is fabricated. About 2 weeks later your dentist will see you for a short appointment to cement in the new crown.
Crowns can be made from several different materials. The most common crown materials used in our practice are porcelain, zirconia, and PFM (porcelain-fused-to-metal). These materials are designed to look just like natural teeth. With strength, beauty, and good long term outcomes in mind, your dentist will recommend the most ideal crown material for you.
Can’t We Just Do a Big Filling?
A dental filling requires enough healthy tooth structure to hold it in place. While we always consider conservative treatment options, if a tooth has been extensively damaged by decay or fracture, your dentist may need to recommend a stronger restoration, like a dental crown.
A dental bridge is a fixed restoration that replaces one or more missing teeth and is cemented to the teeth on either side. The teeth next to the missing tooth are prepared for crowns and are called abutments. These abutment teeth have an important job to do holding up your bridge, so they need to be healthy and strong with good supporting tissues. The abutment crowns are connected to a false tooth, called a pontic, that replaces the missing tooth in between.
A dental bridge is usually completed in two appointments. At the first appointment, the abutment teeth are prepared for the bridge. Any decay, failing restorations, and compromised tooth structure is removed and the teeth are built back up to a strong foundation. At this appointment we will take detailed impressions of your teeth, and we will make you a temporary bridge to wear while the final bridge is fabricated. About 2 weeks later your dentist will see you for a short appointment to cement the new bridge.
Bridges can be made from several different materials. The most common bridge materials used in our practice are zirconia and PFM (porcelain-fused-to-metal). These materials are designed to look just like natural teeth. With strength, beauty, and good long term outcomes in mind, your dentist will recommend the most ideal bridge material for you.
Once a bridge is cemented, it is important for patients to keep it clean. Bone loss or decay on the abutment teeth can quickly shorten the lifespan of your beautiful new dental bridge. Patients especially need to focus on areas that their toothbrush can’t reach. You will learn how to use special oral hygiene aids like floss threaders to clean underneath the bridge and keep the sides of the abutment teeth free from plaque and bacteria.
A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically positioned in the jawbone, taking the place of the root of a missing tooth. Dental implants can be used in many types of restorations. They may be used to support a crown restoration to replace a single missing tooth, they may be used to support dental bridges to replace multiple missing teeth, or they may be used to stabilize and retain a removable denture. Dental implants are considered advantageous over traditional dental bridges for replacing missing teeth since your dentist doesn’t have to cut into the neighboring tooth structure.
A treatment plan involving dental implants is often developed in coordination with an oral surgeon. Cameo Dental maintains relationships with a trusted network of high quality oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the area. In the early phases of implant treatment planning, we will provide a referral to meet with an oral surgeon for an implant consult. The surgeon will evaluate the implant site and obtain any necessary diagnostic images. Implants need good strong bone to fuse to the jaw, so your surgeon will help determine if any bone grafting is needed prior to implant placement.
Your Cameo Dental dentist will complete the restorative portion of your treatment plan, whether it is a single implant supported crown, a multiple tooth implant supported bridge, or an implant retained denture.