Dental Crowns & Bridges

Even if you’re not royalty, it could be time for a dental crown

cracked-toothIf you are suffering from a damaged tooth, a dental crown could help restore its health, strength and function. A crown is a protective sheath that covers an existing tooth, restoring it to its original shape and size.

Typical issues a dental crown can help to resolve are:

  • significantly decayed teeth
  • cracked or fractured teeth
  • teeth impacted by a failed restoration
  • teeth that need restoration after a root canal treatment

 

Types of dental crowns

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns

The most common crown restoration uses a metal lining covered with porcelain. This type of restoration tends to be less natural looking than all-ceramic crowns because light cannot pass through the same way it does with all porcelain crowns or a natural tooth.

Since natural teeth do not have metal in them, the appearance of porcelain-fused-to metal crowns is often flat-looking. Frequently this type of traditional crown leaves a dark or grey line next to the gums. However, the upside to porcelain-fused-to metal crowns is, usually, a smaller price-tag.

All ceramic (metal-free) crowns

dental-crowns-bridges-lethbridgeUnlike metal or porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, the all-ceramic crown provides a more aesthetically pleasing result. That’s because all-ceramic crowns can have a very similar polish, shine, and lustre as natural dental enamel.

Because light can reflect through the porcelain to the underlying tooth, all ceramic crowns tend to be the most natural looking. Additionally, all ceramic dental crowns respond to thermal changes in a similar fashion to natural teeth – minimizing heat sensitivity or possible thermal cracking of the teeth. We like to think of all ceramic crowns as man-made enamel.

Gold Crowns

Gold is a very strong and durable dental material. It can be an excellent choice to provide a long term restoration. Some people prefer not to use gold because it stands out from the other teeth in appearance. At the same time, if the crown is on a back molar, some people feel the cosmetic issue is not a big one.

Crowns can also be made of stainless steel or plastic. Plastic and stainless steel crowns are sometimes utilized as an inexpensive temporary solution until a more definitive long term dental crown option can be provided.

If a dental crown is recommended, the decision on which type of material will be the best option for you should be made in consultation with Lethbridge dentist Dr. Lachman.

Getting a natural look

Today, most dental crowns are very well constructed and they look and function very similar to your natural teeth. Over the years crown technology has improved and older, less natural-looking crowns can be replaced with new ones.

Porcelain crowns are carefully matched in colour to look like your natural teeth. If you are concerned about the natural appearance of your crown, you may wish to choose all ceramic crowns.

dental-bridge-lethbridgeMaintaining your crown

Once you receive your crown, make sure the area is well maintained by brushing and flossing below the gum line. While the crown covers your tooth, you have to protect the base of the crown from bacterial growth, decay and gum disease. You can still get a cavity under a dental crown. Regular brushing, flossing and professional cleaning will help to ensure your crown will last.

A bridge to a healthy smile

If you have one or more missing teeth, the remaining teeth can drift out of position. This can lend itself to a change in the bite, the loss of more teeth, decay, and gum disease.

When tooth loss occurs, Dr. Lachman may recommend the placement of a bridge. Designed to replace missing teeth and support surrounding teeth, a bridge is basically a grouping of interconnected dental crowns held in place by two abutment teeth.

How is a bridge constructed?

First Dr. Lachman will shape and prepare the teeth on each side of the space.

Then, he’ll make an impression of the area. A temporary bridge is formed and fitted to protect your adjacent teeth that were prepared. You will not have to go home toothless because the temporary bridge fills the gap from your previously missing tooth or teeth.

During your next visit (typically about a week later), the temporary bridge is removed and the final fixed bridge is placed, adjusted and bonded into place.

Dental crown installation process, isolated on whiteA dental bridge is a permanent dental restoration in the sense that you do not remove it like you would a denture. Bridges can mimic the look of your natural teeth, and can help you chew, speak and enjoy your favourite foods with more confidence.
Bridgework can also help you avoid that sunken-in facial appearance that’s caused by missing teeth. A bridge helps to stabilize your dental arch, keep your bite in alignment and provide the tooth on tooth stimulation required to keep a strong, healthy jawbone.

Is a crown or bridge for you?

If you are considering a dental crown or a bridge, please contact us. The first step in ensuring a dental crown or bridge is the right treatment option for you is to undergo a dental exam.

Once your oral health has been assessed, you and Lethbridge general dentist Dr. Lachman can discuss what dental treatment will be the best option for you.