Dental Crowns & Bridges
What Are Crowns?
A crown completely covers a tooth above the gum line. This is in contrast to a dental veneer, which only covers a tooth's front surface and needs natural tooth structure to support it. Therefore, if a tooth is missing a significant amount of structure above the gum line, a crown would be the restoration of choice.
Crowns strengthen damaged teeth, allowing them to function normally again. When crafted from today's high-tech porcelains (dental ceramics), crowns are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. They can even be designed to improve upon a tooth's original appearance.
There are other materials besides porcelain that we can use to make dental crowns, depending on what qualities are most important. For durability, cast gold can't be beat. However, this is not always the most aesthetic choice — especially towards the front of the mouth. Other possibilities include porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns (PFM), which have a metal interior for strength and a porcelain exterior for a more natural appearance, and all-porcelain crowns with zirconia, representing the strongest ceramic. We would be happy to discuss the pros and cons of these various options with you.
Crowning or Capping a Tooth
Crowning or capping a tooth will usually take two to three visits. At the first visit, your tooth is prepared to receive its new crown. First, it is shaped to fit inside the new covering. This will involve some drilling to give the tooth a uniform shape. The tooth and the surrounding area will be numbed beforehand. If there is very little tooth structure left to begin with, the tooth may have to be built up with filling material, rather than filed down, to support the crown.
After the tooth is prepared, impressions of your teeth are taken, either digitally or with reliable, putty-like impression materials, and sent to the dental laboratory. There, the impressions will be used to make models of your teeth for the creation of a crown. The models will serve as guides to the highly skilled lab technicians, who will ensure that your new crown is designed to enhance your smile and function well within your bite.
Before you leave the office, a temporary crown will be attached to your tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is ready. At the second visit, your permanent crown will be attached to your tooth with either a resin that hardens when exposed to a special light source, or a type of permanent cement.
If you have missing teeth, then you’re among the 75% of American adults who suffer tooth loss, usually due to advanced gum disease. People also experience tooth loss due to injuries, extractions, infections, and cavities.
Missing teeth create a whole host of dental problems. Slurring in speech, issues with eating certain types of foods, and affecting your confidence in your appearance. At Hill Davis Dental Group, Dr. Jimmy Hill, Dr. Camie Davis, and our friendly team can give you a whole new reason to smile … with a fixed dental bridge!
What is a fixed bridge?
A fixed bridge is a dental prosthesis used to replace missing teeth. It’s made up an acrylic base that matches your gums, and porcelain crowns that fit in with your dentition just right. At the Hill Davis Dental Group, we offer this option to our patients who want an affordable option for replacing missing teeth.
How is a bridge placed?
At the Lubbock office of Hill Davis Dental Group, we can attach your fixed dental bridge by fitting neighboring teeth with crowns, or anchoring the device with a dental implant. Both methods have advantages, and when you come in for your dental bridge consultation, Dr. Davis or Dr. Hill can discuss your options.
Any tips for taking care of my bridge?
You can take care of your dental bridge as easily as you do your natural teeth. It’s important to maintain a daily oral hygiene routine that includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing. With proper care, your crown and bridge can last a lifetime.
Repair your smile with a crown or bridge at our Lubbock, TX dental office. Schedule an appointment with Hills-Davis Dental Group by calling (806) 793-0651 today!