crowns and bridges

CROWNS & BRIDGES

Crowns or caps are restorations that replace the entire visible structure of a severely damaged tooth. A bridge is usually a treatment option to replace a missing tooth anchored by crowns or existing teeth on either side.

 What is a crown?

Sometimes the surface of a tooth becomes significantly damaged to be fixed with a filling or other dental procedure, but the root structure beneath the gums is still strong. In this case, your Pingree Grove dentist can cement a crown or “cap” to the old tooth. This crown will completely cover what is left of the existing tooth, and will be sized and shaped just like the original healthy tooth. Crowns are made of different materials, and the circumstances of each patient will determine which material is best. Crowns are commonly used to protect root canal treated tooth, broken teeth, or sometimes for cosmetic purposes to align and match surrounding front teeth to create a beautiful smile.

 Why would I need a crown?

Crowns are used when a tooth is too damaged for a filling, when a tooth is badly cracked or broken, previously root canal treated, or when a tooth has become badly worn down. Crowns are a good solution because the dentist can save the healthy structure of the existing tooth and the healthy roots. Your Pingree Grove dentist creates a totally new tooth surface that is strong and durable and keeps your teeth stable.

 Why use a crown instead of a filling?

Fillings are used when there is a spot of decay in an otherwise healthy tooth. But sometimes there is too much damage to the structure of a tooth to even safely hold a filling. When surrounding tooth structure is inadequate to support a filling, simply placing a filling will put the tooth at a risk of future fracture. If a large percentage of the tooth is damaged, the entire visible surface of the tooth above the gum line can be replaced with a crown.

 Why use a crown instead of pulling the tooth?

Besides dental implants and bridges which are very costly, there are no functional alternatives to replacing a missing tooth. When possible, a tooth that is restorable should be treated with a crown to avoid further invasive procedures that are more costly. A crown rebuilds the tooth to its original size and shape, saving as much of the healthy tooth and root as possible, and preserving the spacing between the remaining teeth. Removed teeth leave gaps that can cause improper bite and change the appearance of your face.

 What are the types of dental crowns?

Crowns are distinguished by the materials they are made from. There are typically three types available. Your Pingree Grove Dentist can explain which materials make sense for you based upon your individual circumstances.

 All Porcelain or All Ceramic Crowns

These crowns offer the advantage of a very natural appearing tooth, and for this reason are often used for front teeth. Porcelain can be created to perfectly match your surrounding teeth, making the crowns nearly the same as surrounding teeth. Recent technological advances in dental materials have resulted in very strong porcelain materials that are very natural looking. This feature makes these crowns very popular.

 Porcelain-over-Metal Crowns

This popular crown type provides an excellent combination of appearance and durability. The porcelain is color matched to your existing teeth and fused to a metal base which provides strength and support With a metal center.

 How long do crowns last?

Dental Crowns are considered long lasting restorations, but that does not mean they are expected to last forever. With proper hygiene a dental crown will probably last from five to fifteen years, but could last much longer as long as proper home care is maintained and routine checkups are maintained to evaluate and catch problems before the restoration fails. Ask your Pingree Grove dentist about your concerns and treatment options.

 BRIDGES

When a tooth is missing, and not just damaged, crowns can be used as anchors on surrounding teeth, with a false tooth attached to “bridge” the gap, known as the pontic. As mentioned before, this is an option to replace missing tooth but at the expense of removing tooth structure from surrounding teeth to anchor the ‘pontic’. When surrounding teeth have no dental decay or dental disease, removing tooth structure is not advised and a better treatment option in that instance may be a dental implant. However, the best way to prevent these invasive treatment is to maintain natural teeth as long possible with regular checkups and maintenance. Call today at (847)462-4330 to schedule an appointment.

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