Alaska's Trusted Dental
A Dental Crown Or Bridge To Relieve Your Dental Problems
A dental crown or “cap” is a covering that fits over a damaged, decayed or unattractive tooth. It can even replace a tooth entirely as part of dental bridgework.
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, 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. During your intial visit we will go over all of the options for the materials that are available and together we will choose what is best for you.
Crowning or Capping a Tooth
Crowning or capping a tooth will usually take two to three visits. During your first visit, your tooth is prepared to receive its new crown. First, it is shaped to fit inside the new covering, which will involve some drilling to give the tooth a uniform shape. 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 impression materials, and sent to our lab. 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 ensure that your new crown is designed to enhance your smile and function well within your bite.
Before you leave our office, a temporary crown will be attached to your tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is ready. During your second visit, your permanent crown will be attached to your tooth.
Creating a Bridge
Crowns can also be used to create a lifelike replacement for a missing tooth. This is done with bridgework, which spans the space of the missing tooth and requires at least three crowns. Two of those crowns will be placed over healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth; these healthy teeth are referred to as abutment teeth. The two crowned abutment teeth become supports for a third crown placed in between them; that third crown is referred to as a pontic. If more than one tooth is missing, more crowns will be needed to bridge the gap in between the abutment teeth.
The number of abutment teeth necessary to replace missing teeth is influenced by the number of missing teeth, the size and length of the abutment tooth roots, the amount of bone support each abutment tooth has, as well as where in the mouth the missing tooth is located.
Caring for Your Crowns & Bridgework
Crowns and bridgework require the same conscientious care as your natural teeth. Be sure to brush and floss between all of your teeth — restored and natural — every day to reduce the buildup of dental plaque. When you have crowns, it is even more important to maintain your regular schedule of cleanings at our office. Avoid using your teeth as tools (to open packages, for example). If you have a grinding habit, wearing a nightguard would be a good idea to protect your teeth and your investment.
For more information on Crowns and Bridges in the Anchorage, AK area
call Alaska's Trusted Dental at (907) 276-1712 or (907) 349-3569 today!
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