Crown and Bridge, Cosmetic Contouring & Implants
Crowns and bridges are two methods that restore damaged or missing teeth. They restore tooth function and appearance, and avoid shifting teeth which might occur after a tooth is lost. By maintaining or restoring your bite and smile, the consequences of the tooth damage or loss are reversed. If you have a lot of tooth structure missing then a crown is needed.
The usual type of crown that is made today is called porcelain fused to metal (PFM). It has a semi-precious, thin metal casting made to a fine edge that is fitted tightly to your tooth and a porcelain exterior that hides the metal and provides a strong, esthetic look. This is one of the most “technique sensitive” procedures for a dentist to perform. It requires lots of skill and experience to get them just right.
I pride myself in being able to deliver crowns to my patients that are beyond compare. Crowns can also be made from “all” porcelain where extra esthetics are needed. These may not be as strong as PFM’s so we have to be selective in their placement. If we are in the front of the mouth and prefer not to grind the tooth which is needed in crown preparation, a Lumineer is usually the best choice.
A bridge is just more crowns connected together. They are usually done to replace a missing tooth. Crowns are placed on either side of the space and then a crown (pontic) with no root is attached to them. This then forms a three unit splinted bridge. They are a fixed, cemented prosthetic device that is durable, comfortable, and tooth like.
Sometimes I can do something simply to make your teeth look a lot better. We call this cosmetic contouring or shaping. I call it “enamelplasty”. This corrects crooked, chipped, cracked or even overlapping teeth in a single session. I can remove just a small amount of enamel and can create a wonderful smile with no discomfort.
Many times I will do Lumineers for your upper front teeth and just do enamelplasty and whitening for your lower front teeth to give you a perfect smile. If you pay for your upper Lumineers, I will do your lower teeth for free.
If a bridge is not ideal for a missing tooth, a dental implant can be done. It is a titanium “root” that is used as a support for the restoration that can be a substitute for one or more missing teeth. I work with several surgical specialists that will place the implant in the bone and I place the implant crown later. It usually takes 5 to 6 months for the implant to “integrate” in place before the final restoration can be completed.