Dental Crowns and Bridges
If you have been told you need a crown or a bridge, most likely it is because a significant portion of your tooth has been broken or chipped, or perhaps you had a large filling that got decay underneath it. Whatever the reason, Dr. Claren Harmon in Carmel, IN is a dentist who has been doing crowns and bridges for over 30 years. Her patients appreciate the meticulous care she puts into crafting each tooth to look and feel like your own natural teeth.
What’s the Difference Between a Crown and a Bridge?
A crown would be a single cap that fits over a prepared tooth to restore it back to proper function. A bridge is done when one or more teeth are missing and you need to fill in the space with something for you to chew with, improve your esthetics and make your smile look great.
What are my Options With Crowns or Bridges?
One option to having a crown done is a porcelain veneer. This is a more conservative preparation and can be done when only the facial surface of the tooth is discolored or has decay. If the tooth had a root canal, it is weakened and often it’s better to do a full coverage crown as the tooth may be fragile. In addition, usually a crown is done when there was a large filling that was too big to be replaced due to lack of support. If there is enough tooth structure to hold a tooth together, then a large filling may be a possibility, but knowing that it may only be “buying” time until it needs a crown.
One of the options to doing a bridge is a dental implant. When you have only one tooth that has a problem, there is a phrase, “Why turn a one-tooth problem into a three-tooth problem, by grinding down the two adjacent teeth?” With an implant, you only are working on one tooth and you can restore the area very naturally and it will look amazing. On the other hand, if the two adjacent teeth already needed new crowns, then a bridge is a simpler way to restore an area. A bridge may be harder to clean underneath than an implant because of the way it is designed, however, traditionally, bridges are covered by insurance plans and so many people have stayed with doing bridges.
What Materials are Crown and Bridges Made of?
Many years ago, the only option were GOLD Crowns or Metal Crowns with white resin on them. Then, they formulated ways to “bond” or “fuse” the porcelain colored materials to metal and esthetic dentistry was born! Nowadays, we have All-Porcelain crowns available in a variety of ceramic materials that allow us to create much more esthetic as well as conservative restorations, since crowns can be bonded to the tooth and need less tooth structure reduction. For larger spans, we have Zirconium that is proving to be a very sturdy porcelain material that allows us to do larger span bridges even without fear of breakage as in the past.
With all the options on procedures and materials that we have today, you will want a dentist who is experienced and you can trust to give you the best result. They can be bonded or cemented in a way that lasts longer that the crowns and bridges of the past did not have available.
What is the Procedure to Getting a Crown?
Typically, we remove any old filling material and decay or weakened tooth structure first. Then we prepare the walls of the crown by shaping it so we can fit the new cap over the tooth. The newer materials we have today allow us to remove as much tooth material leaving a sturdier base for the crown to sit on. Once we have reduced the tooth and carefully smoothed it to the correct shape, we will take an impression of it, along with a bite registration and an impression of the opposing arch. We also take the shade of your teeth so we can match the adjacent tooth color. This is then sent to the lab, during which time, we make a temporary crown to protect the inner surface of the tooth. After about two weeks, the crown comes back from the lab and we remove the temporary, try-in the new crown to make sure it fits perfectly and then bond it in place.
Close up portrait of Young women in dentist chair, Check and select the color of the teeth. Dentist makes the process of treatment in dental clinic office.Dentist[/caption]
Give us a call today if you have a badly chipped tooth or decay and would like a consultation regarding replacing it with a beautiful natural-looking crown that will restore your confidence and smile!