Crowns are restorations that replace the entire visible structure of a severely damaged tooth. A bridge is a replacement tooth anchored by crowns or existing teeth on either side.er.
What is a crown?
Sometimes the surface of a tooth becomes too badly damaged to be fixed with a filling or other dental technique, but the root structure beneath the gums is still strong. In this case, our dentists at Neumann Family Dentisty can cement a crown or “cap” on 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.
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, when a tooth has become badly worn down. Crowns are a good solution because the healthy structure of the existing tooth and the healthy roots can be saved. We just create 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. If a large percentage of the tooth is damaged, the entire visible surface of the tooth above the gumline can be replaced with a crown.
Why use a crown instead of pulling the tooth?
The roots of your teeth are firmly planted in your gumline, and your teeth affect the way your face looks. 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 different types of dental crowns?
Crowns are distinguished by the materials they are made from. There are typically three types available. We can explain which materials make sense for you based upon your individual circumstances because each material has its own advantages.
Gold is an excellent material for crowns because the material is extremely workable and provides an excellent fit between the crown and the existing tooth. Gold requires the least preparation of the existing tooth, keeping more of the original tooth structure than is possible with other methods. There is no possibility of gold crowns chipping, and since they are not as hard as porcelain crowns, they are not as likely to cause wear on other teeth. The downside of gold may be its distinctive appearance. In the back of the mouth, where gold is often used, this may not be an issue. However, when it is visible in your smile, the gold crown will make an obvious contrast with natural teeth.
All Porcelain or All Ceramic Crowns
These crowns offer the advantage of a very natural appearance, and for this reason are often used for front teeth. Porcelain can be created to perfectly match your surrounding teeth, making the crowns almost indistinguishable. This type of crown does require considerable preparation, leaving less of the existing tooth, and it is often challenging for the dentist to get a fit as tight as with a gold crown. Their beautiful, life-like appearance continues to make them a popular choice.
What is the procedure for placing a crown?
If the tooth is extremely damaged, our dentists at Neumann Family Dentistry may perform a root canal first. Otherwise, they will prepare the tooth by filing it down enough to fit the crown over it and between the adjacent teeth. The filed down tooth will be the base that is cemented to the finished crown. They will then take impressions of the tooth and the surrounding teeth which the lab will use as a model for the new crown. Since the lab typically takes two weeks to prepare the permanent crown, they will often insert a temporary crown until the permanent one is ready. On a second visit, the temporary crown is removed, and the permanent crown is cemented in.
How long do crowns last?
Crowns are considered permanent dental restorations, but that does not mean they are expected to last forever. With proper hygiene a dental crown will probably last from ten to fifteen years, but could last much longer.
When a tooth is missing, and not just damaged, crowns can be used as anchors on adjacent teeth, with a false tooth attached to “bridge” the gap.
What is a bridge?
A bridge is a false tooth that is fused to one or two crowns. This false tooth, or pontic, is held in its position on the gum by the anchoring crowns next to it.
What kind of bridges are there?
- The traditional fixed bridge is a false tooth fused to two crowns. The crowns fit permanently on the teeth on both sides of the new false tooth, and anchor it in place as a “bridge” over the gum. This dental technique is otherwise similar to a regular crown procedure. The fixed bridge offers the most natural fit and appearance.
- The cantilever bridge is a false tooth that is anchored to a tooth or teeth on one side, and not the other. This dental technique is otherwise similar to a regular crown procedure. A cantilever bridge does not have the same strength as a traditional fixed bridge and can only be used in areas of less stress, like front teeth.
- The removable bridge is not cemented permanently. It may be available at a lower cost, but will require extra hygiene attention.
ONLAYS / INLAYS
Dental inlays and onlays are dental restorations and a great way to save your tooth structure and prevent future decay. They are used to repair teeth with mild to moderate decay, or teeth that are fractured but not damaged enough to need a crown. The ideal candidates typically have too much tooth decay or damage to the tooth structure to be treated successfully with a filling, but still have enough healthy tooth remaining to avoid the need for a crown. Inlays and onlays are highly durable and made to strengthen and prolong the life of your tooth.
A Dental inlay is very similar to a traditional filling and made out of a resin composite. The inlay fits within the groves of your tooth’s biting surface. A Dental Onlay can be referred to as a partial cap, and covers one or more cusps of the tooth. Both options are hand crafted at a dental laboratory and may take two or more appointments to fully restore your tooth.
During your first visit, we will remove any decay and shape your tooth. Then, we will take an impression that the dental lab will use to create your custom fitted restoration. In the meantime, we often place a temporary restoration which will be removed on your next visit.
During your second visit, we will remove the temporary restoration and the try on your inlay or onlay. We will make sure it is ideal for both your tooth and your bite. Once this is achieved we will bond your final restoration into place.
Full Mouth Restoration
Dr. Neumann can give you the smile you want. If extreme restoration is what you are looking for, Dr. Neumann will use a variety of techniques to restore your full smile. He will use a different combination of dental implants, crowns, bridges or inlays and onlays for each patient’s unique needs. Our team can provide you with the full mouth restoration you need and want. Don’t give up. Contact us to discuss what we can do for you.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Please contact us with any questions.