Ceramic Crowns & Bridges
A crown is a custom-made covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance, although it is often less durable.
The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:
- Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it.
- Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for te crown.
- Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes one to two weeks).
- Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period when the custom-made crown is being created.
- Applying the custom-made crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the custom-made one onto the tooth.
- After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.
This process generally consists of a minimum of two to three visits over a three to four week period. Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease. Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime.
When is a crown Necessary?
Dr. Ace uses crowns to:
- Prevent additional damage to teeth that are chipped, cracked, broken, or worn down
- Preserve the structure of teeth with large cavities
- Restore strength following a root canal
- Secure a dental bridge
- Restore a dental implant
Dr. Ace is the expert dental specialist in Central Texas for (metal free) ceramic crowns. He has found that all-porcelain crowns offer the strongest and most esthetically pleasing solution for most patients. When cared for properly, this type of crown (known by many as a “cap”) will continue to have beauty and function for many years. Dr. Ace can discuss the benefits of porcelain crowns in greater detail during your individualized dental consultation.
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A bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied.
A bridge may be necessary to prevent:
- Shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems and resultant periodontal disease.
- Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.
There are three main types of bridges, namely:
- A fixed bridge is the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the existing teeth and hold the bridge in place.
- The “Maryland” bridge is commonly used to replace missing front teeth and consists of a filler that is attached to metal bands that are bonded to the abutment teeth. The metal bands consist of a white-colored composite resin that matches existing tooth color.
- The cantilever bridge is often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space or end.
Both dental bridges and dental implants can be used to restore function and beauty when you are missing one or more teeth. Dental bridges are traditionally supported by teeth adjacent to a missing space, or gap. Originating from the University of Maryland Dental School, Bridges can also be supported by a single tooth when only one is available. Known as a “Maryland Bridge,” the tooth replacement is a “winged” crown that attaches to only the back surface of 1 or 2 teeth. Maryland bridges were traditionally made from metal, but now all ceramic versions are popular. Bridges replace your missing teeth, resting on top of your gums. However, bridges cannot prevent jaw shrinkage and collapse, an issue that occurs when a tooth’s root is missing.
Dental implants are inserted into your jaw and do not rely on adjacent teeth for support. The placement of dental implants offers many unique benefits including:
- Full restoration of strength
- Completely natural-looking results
- No damage to surrounding teeth
- Prevention of jaw shrinkage and collapse
Because dental implants offer so many advantages, Dr. Ace Jovanovski often recommends them over options such as bridges or dentures. What is best for you will be determined during your initial consultation