Crowns & Bridgework
Crowns are a common dental procedure that most people will experience by the time they are 35 years old unless you are one of the lucky ones who avoided getting cavities in your teens and twenties. Crowns are used to restore a badly damaged tooth back to function. If tooth decay, old failed fillings and cracks make up more than 50% of the width of a tooth it needs a crown. With a crown you get to keep your tooth, it’s not a fake tooth but rather a covering or artificial enamel for your tooth. You could think of a crown like a cast you would get for a broken bone. The difference is the bone will heal and the cast comes off in about six weeks. The tooth will not repair itself so a crown will always be required. Deciding when a crown is needed can be tricky. As conservative dentists we want to preserve as much enamel and natural tooth structure as possible while also avoiding any breakage that would require pulling the tooth. We will work together with our patients through our many diagnostic methods to help make the best decision for each individual situation.
Crowns can be made out of a few different materials each with their own advantage. They can be gold ( yellow gold or white gold). Gold is still one of the most comfortable and longest lasting choices. They can be made of porcelain which is the most popular choice due to the fact we can make it in one appointment and the result is a tooth that looks like a tooth. Crowns can also be made out of a combination of a metal substructure with a porcelain covering, called a PFM. I’m sure you have seen someone smile and they have a white tooth that stands out because it is really opaque and then you notice a dark black or purple line along the gums, that is a PFM. I have talked with plenty of patients who are afraid to get a crown because they don’t want their teeth to look fake like the PFM can. No need to worry, we have been making all porcelain crowns with the use of CAD/CAM technology in our office for nearly a decade now. Same day crowns are not new, they have been around for 20 years but only 10% of offices have made the investment in this amazing technology.
Bridge work is similar to a crown in that it can be made of the same materials and similar preparation is made to the teeth. The primary reason for getting a bridge is to replace a missing tooth. The missing tooth is replaced with a fake tooth that is held in place by crowns on either side. Bridgework can look very natural, aid in chewing and prevent other teeth from shifting into the space that was made when the old tooth was lost. Bridgework stays in your mouth unlike partials which are removable. Having the bridge stay in makes it nice for chewing but also makes cleaning more of a challenge. We will be happy to show you the best ways to clean your bridge so you can enjoy a healthy smiles for years to come.