Crowns & Bridges
When damage to a tooth is so extensive that a filling is not sufficient to repair it, a porcelain crown or “cap” is needed to strengthen and protect it. This is recommended when the damage is extensive but the tooth can still be saved. The most common reasons a crown is needed are decay that has spread significantly, trauma that has occurred, or an old filling is breaking down.
Why Is a Crown Needed?
The crown restores structure that has been damaged and prolongs the life of the tooth. A crown can also be used for esthetic reasons. For instance, if you do not like your smile due to spacing, crowding, or misaligned teeth, a crown can provide a dramatic improvement.
In the past, crowns were made of gold and silver, but gradually, esthetics became more important and they were made of porcelain layered on top of metal were used. However, these crowns still had a visible grey or black band of metal along the gum line.
Today, we can offer much more natural-looking crowns. Porcelain provides the best of both worlds; a material that matches the strength and durability of a metal crown, and an esthetically-pleasing option. This is also an excellent choice for those allergic to metal or who have a concern about having metal in their mouth. Gold crowns also have their place in dentistry. A tooth that is in the back of the mouth can certainly benefit from a gold crown to conserve tooth structure.
At Prestige Dentistry, we offer both porcelain and gold crowns. The choice is based on the individual patient and what is best for their dental health. Dr. Reena Oza will be happy to sit down with you and evaluate the options.
What Is A Bridge?
Bridges function like crowns because they protect a damaged tooth and restore its structure. The difference is that we can also use a bridge to replace one or more missing teeth. The bridge spans the space and replaces the missing tooth or teeth with an artificial tooth.
When a dental implant cannot be used safely, as in the case of contributing health factors, a bridge can be used.
How Is A Crown or Bridge Made?
During your crown appointment, Dr. Oza will numb the involved area to make sure you are comfortable. We then remove the decay or old restoration and replace it with a new filling. The tooth is then properly shaped to allow room for the restoration, and Dr. Oza will make a temporary crown for you. A mold, or impression, of your teeth is taken and sent to a lab so that your permanent crown can be fabricated. You will then return so we can remove the temporary and cement the permanent crown in place.
How Long Do Crowns and Bridges Last?
Just like all dental restorations, crowns have a lifespan. Typically, most crowns can be expected to last from five to fifteen years, but this is impacted by the amount of tooth structure left and your risk for developing future cavities. Also, habits such as grinding your teeth and chewing on ice can decrease the lifespan of a crown. Keeping up with your dental hygiene visits allows us to check on your crown and detect and treat potential problems that may affect your crown.
Please Call to Make Your Appointment
If you are tired of having a damaged or missing tooth affect your life, there is no need to live with these problems! A crown or bridge can restore those teeth to health again. Call our Prairieville dental office today, and we will be pleased to arrange a convenient appointment for you.