What is a crown?
A crown is a restoration that covers, or “caps,” a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth. Crowns are necessary when a tooth or teeth are too badly decayed, broken or cracked to be easily restored with a filling. Sometimes crown is required after RCT procedure.
When we have decided to go ahead with a full crown restoration, we will set aside 2-3 appointments for the entire process. Although the majority of crowns are completed in two visits, there is sometimes a need for a third visit to ensure a proper fit.
On the first visit the tooth will be reshaped by filing down the tooth so that the crown can be placed over it. You will be given a local anesthetic before this part of the procedure so that you do not experience any discomfort. Once the tooth has been reshaped, a mold will be taken of that tooth and the surrounding teeth. This mold will be sent to a dental lab so that your new crown can be made so that it fits in the spot created for it and looks the same relative to the surrounding teeth. Before leaving, we will put a temporary crown until your permanent crown is ready.
During your second visit to the office, we will proceed with the placement of your final restoration. This crown will be fitted comfortably into the mouth. We will make every effort to ensure that the new tooth feels exactly like one of your natural teeth. The final step in the process is to cement the crown into your mouth, leaving you with a beautifully restored smile.
What is a bridge?
A bridge (also known as a fixed partial denture) is planned when one or more teeth are missing and there are healthy teeth on both sides of the open space. With proper care, your new bridge will increase your overall health and instill confidence for years to come.
Porcelain fused to metal (PFM)
Porcelain fused to metal (PFM) is a tooth-colored bridge with high strength. The metal core makes a PFM many times stronger than an all-ceramic bridge. The metal core can be made of many different materials. Tooth colored porcelain is baked on the outside of the metal core. We only use the highest quality porcelains (a combination of beauty, biocompatibility, and strength). Because there is metal under the porcelain, it blocks natural tooth translucency and is not as pretty (aesthetic) as an all-ceramic bridge. However, all ceramic bridges do not enjoy the longevity of PFMs. There are many different marginal configurations (the area where the bridge meets the tooth) with a PFM. How well the margin of the bridge fits affects the health of the gums and ultimately the longevity of the bridge. We choose to do a porcelain butt margin, which is the most aesthetic (also the most challenging for the dentist and the laboratory technicians to perform well). A porcelain butt joint, when done well, is aesthetic, healthy for the gums, and durable.
An all-ceramic bridge (or porcelain with ceramic substrate) is the most beautiful of all bridges but is not as durable as the other types. There is no metal so translucency is usually excellent (depending on the type of materials used for the all-ceramic bridge). These bridges are usually indicated on front teeth or teeth that are highly visible. We use only the best materials (a combination of beauty, biocompatibility, and strength) for our all-ceramic bridges. Note: All ceramic bridges do not have the same longevity as PFM bridges.
A Full Gold Bridge
A full gold bridge is composed of gold and looks gold. We only use high noble metal for our gold bridges (about 72% gold or 18 carat gold, 3.5% platinum). High noble metal fits better and is much less likely to result in allergies or sensitivities. Full gold bridges are indicated on back teeth with low visibility and are performed rather than a PFM at patient's request. The primary benefit of a full gold bridge is durability.