A dental crown is typically an all-porcelain, artificial tooth that is permanently cemented on top of your actual tooth, after it has been reduced and shaped. A dental crown is used as a way of protecting a weakened tooth by covering or “capping” it completely.
What’s interesting, not only are crowns used for restoring the anatomy and function of teeth, but they can also be used for cosmetic purposes to improve the look and appearance of your smile.
There are three different materials that a crown can be made in: all-ceramic, ceramic-on-metal, and all-metal. The best material to use is dependent on where the crown is located.
For instance, all-ceramic crowns should be used for front teeth because it looks the most natural, and there is no darker metal showing through. Some patients prefer using ceramic-on-metal crowns because apart from looking natural, they have the durability which can only be provided by precious or semi-precious metal.
Dental bridges involve fitting an artificial tooth or pontic in between two adjacent crowns, which will function like anchors to hold the artificial tooth into place. Bridges are generally used as a permanent, non-removable way to replace missing teeth, but they can also be used cosmetically to enhance the appearance of a smile.
Modern dentistry offers various types of dental bridges, and the actual position of your missing tooth will determine the type you and your dentist will choose. Dental bridges can be made of gold, durable tooth-colored porcelain, or composite materials.
People with damaged and missing teeth may find themselves facing a myriad of difficulties – from poor self-esteem to changes in their bite and facial shape. In addition, missing teeth can actually cause strain on the adjacent teeth thus increasing the risk of gum disorders as well as tooth decay.
Our dental practice offers residents of Indianapolis and surrounding cities, dental crown and dental bridge solutions that are highly effective for restoring broken-down teeth and replacing missing teeth.
When it comes to having dental crowns and dental bridges installed, it is prudent to work with an experienced dentist who understands how to complete the procedure in a manner that will provide a life-like and natural result. Close communication with the dental laboratory that is fabricating your restoration is critical to ensure that your crown or bridge fits properly and looks fantastic.
The process for crown and bridge installation is somewhat similar. Before embarking on the procedure, an impression of your teeth is taken to facilitate the creation of the new crown or bridge in a dental lab. Shortly thereafter, the dentist will numb the area to ensure minimal discomfort occurs. Once the patient is fully numb, the dentist will shape and reduce the tooth/teeth to allow space for a crown or bridge to be seated after it’s back from the lab.
The tooth is then cleaned and a temporary crown is fixed to it with temporary adhesive. Usually, a patient wears the temporary crown for about two weeks while the permanent one is being created in the lab. During this time, special care must be taken with the food eaten and the way teeth are brushed and flossed to help keep the temporary crown in tact. If the temporary crown does come off or chips, you need to be seen by your dentist immediately so that the temp can be recemented or remade. This will help make certain that the permanent crown fits without any issues.
Once the crowns and bridges have been created by the lab, a patient returns to have the temporaries removed and the permanent ones delivered. However, prior to cementation the dentist will try the crown or bridge in the mouth to ensure that it fits properly and looks great.
If all looks good, the dentist will then permanently cement the crown or bridge into place with a dental adhesive. Most of the time, slight adjustments and fine tuning of the bite will be required so that everything is balanced and level, and you are able to function comfortably.
Typically, the entire process for getting a crown or bridge from start to finish generally takes about 2 weeks.
At the initial visit with your dentist, the tooth/teeth are prepared and impressions are taken. Then, the office will submit the necessary documentation as well as any impressions, rx slip, images, etc. to the lab.
The lab will receive the information and begin to fabricate the crowns/bridges based on the provided documentation. Once the lab has completed fabricating and finishing the case, it is sent back to the office for the delivery appointment with the patient.
At the delivery appointment, the dentist will check the fit of the crown(s) or bridge(s) to ensure that the prosthetic meets the specifications of the patient's mouth and seats nicely. Typically, minor to moderate adjustments to the crown or bridge may be necessary to ensure the bite is balanced and that the margins from the gumline are within a specific range.
If however, after adjustments the dentist deems that the crown or bridge doesn't fit as it should, the case is sent back to the lab to be adjusted or refabricated until it meets our high standards of care.
At the delivery appointment, the dentist will also check the shade, size, and shape of the crown or bridge to ensure it meets the specifications of the patient's mouth and looks aesthetically pleasing.
If however, the dentist deems that the crown or bridge doesn't look as it should, the case is sent back to the lab to be adjusted or refabricated until it meets our high standards of cosmetic appeal.
Typically, the dental crowns we provide to patients are made out of porcelain, which is super strong and looks just like your natural tooth. However, depending on the particular case, we may use other crown materials such as ceramic, zirconia, composite resin, metal, or even a combination of materials.
Generally, the dental bridges we provide to patients are made out of porcelain, which is extremely durable and looks very realistic. However, depending on the patient's situation, we may use other bridge materials such as ceramic, zirconia, composite resin, metal, or even a combination of materials.