Dental Crowns and Bridges
Dental crowns and bridges are restorations that correct dental problems while protecting and strengthening your teeth.
A dental crown is custom-made to fit over a damaged natural tooth. It restores the function of the tooth and provides strength and support. Dental bridges are also versatile and have several uses.
We usually create crowns and bridges out of porcelain because of its natural appearance and durability.
Everyone wants a smile that is healthy and beautiful, and we can help you reach that goal by using crowns and bridges. Updated techniques and treatments have made the placing of crowns and bridges easier than ever before.
When Are Dental Crowns and Bridges Used?
Dental crowns have many applications and can be used to correct many problems:
- Severely decayed teeth
- Teeth weakened by root canal treatment
- Fractured or broken teeth
- Broken fillings
- Large, unattractive fillings
A dental bridge is used to fill the space left by a missing tooth. The bridge is usually made as a single unit that is held in place by crowns on adjacent teeth. A dental bridge not only improves your appearance but also prevents surrounding teeth from shifting out of place and moving into the space left by a missing tooth.
What Does Placing a Crown or Bridge Involve?
A dental crown or bridge can usually be placed in two or three visits. First, we prepare your natural tooth to receive the restoration and then impressions are taken of your teeth. The impression accurately represents the position of your natural teeth so that your restoration fits perfectly.
We then send the impressions to a custom dental lab, where skilled technicians use them to create your permanent restoration, which usually takes about two weeks. Before you leave our office, we fit you with a temporary bridge or crown that you wear while the lab fabricates your new crown or bridge.
Once we receive your restoration back from the lab, we will schedule an appointment for you to return to our office. At that time, we check the finished restoration for proper fit and make adjustments as necessary. Finally, the restoration is cemented permanently into place.
Before you leave our office, we will give you instructions on caring for your new restoration. The restoration is fully functional, but you should remember that it requires special care to prevent damage and the need for replacement. If you practice proper oral hygiene and schedule regular dental cleanings, your new restoration will last for many years.
For some, the appearance of standard silver amalgam fillings is unattractive. They are noticeable when you smile and can cause your teeth to appear discoloured.
If you need a filling but don’t want it to be visible, tooth-coloured composite fillings are appealing alternatives. Composites can also be used for minor reshaping of chipped teeth or to fill small gaps between teeth to give you a more even, appealing smile.
What Is a Composite Filling?
Composite fillings are a mixture of resins, glass particles, and colourants that impart a translucent appearance similar to tooth enamel. The composite is applied to the tooth in layers and hardened using a UV light. Unlike silver amalgam fillings, composites your dentist can design your restoration to match the colour of your natural teeth, giving you a seamless-looking repair,
Since the composite bonds directly to your tooth, these fillings require less removal of the healthy tooth, which leaves more remaining tooth structure intact. Composite fillings are also less susceptible to cracking and chipping due to temperature changes in your mouth than amalgam fillings.
How Is a Composite Filling Placed?
To place a composite filling, the dentist will numb the area if necessary and remove any decay. The remaining tooth structure is then etched to create a rough surface to which the composite can bond.
Our dentist will match the shade of your natural tooth and mix up a composite that is applied in layers with curing between each layer. Once built up, the filling will be shaped to contour to your bite and look natural and then polished smooth.
For areas needing larger repairs, we may use a semi-direct or indirect filling. This involves a composite that is either built up inside the mouth and then removed for curing, or a filling that is manufactured outside of the mouth and cured. This allows for stronger curing and a more sturdy composite filling. Once the composite material is cured, it is bonded to your natural tooth.
Why Choose Composite?
While composite fillings are usually more expensive than silver amalgam fillings, they offer a better aesthetic than metal fillings. They can also act more like a natural tooth, helping to avoid fractures due to uneven stress when biting.
Call to Schedule an Evaluation
Are you troubled by a damaged or missing tooth? Please call our office today to schedule an evaluation and learn more about your options!