Your Smile Speaks Even Before You Do
In the past decade, there has been a dramatic interest in cosmetic dentistry. We all realize that having a healthy, bright, beautiful smile enhances our appearance and allows us to smile with confidence.
Thanks to the advances in modern cosmetic dentistry, we are able to improve our teeth and smiles with quick, painless and surprisingly affordable treatments. Cosmetic dental treatments can:
- Change the size, shape, and alignment of certain teeth
- Fill in unattractive spaces between teeth
- Replace missing teeth
- Improve or correct bites
- Replace old, unattractive dental treatments
- Lighten or brighten the color of teeth
- Repair decayed, broken, cracked, or chipped teeth
A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.
Why Would I Need a Crown?
Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth-colored crown) are the most popular. They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.
Crowns can address the following:
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Cosmetic enhancement
- Decayed teeth
- Fractured fillings
- Large fillings
- Tooth has a root canal
What to Expect When Getting a Crown
Restoring a tooth or area of your mouth with crowns and/or bridges is a precise undertaking. We make every effort to ensure that you are comfortable during the procedure.
First, the area is carefully numbed with anesthetic. If an old crown or bridge is present, special metal cutting instruments are used to carefully section the old crowns.
The sectioned parts are carefully removed from the remaining tooth structure to avoid any damage to the underlying tooth structure. The tooth stump is then cleaned, reshaped and any decay present is removed. The edges (margins) where the crown will meet the tooth are then refined to attain an optimal seal, just below the edge of the gum.
For teeth without failing crowns or fillings, the tooth is shaped with diamond rotary instruments with walls that are nearly parallel for optimal retention of the new crown or bridge. Once all the appropriate teeth are shaped, the teeth are cleaned and depending on the specific circumstance, a laser beam is passed around the area where the gum and tooth join. This creates a small space and allows the mold material to capture the details of the tooth preparation.
The traditional way involves inserting a small cord between the tooth and the gum to make the gum move away from the tooth. This is left in place for ten minutes and removed just before the impression (mold) is made.
Modeling the Crown
The impression part of the appointment involves cleaning the tooth after laser or retraction cord removal, drying the tooth and injecting a liquid rubber material into the space created by the cord or laser around the tooth. Meanwhile, a plastic tray that fits your mouth is filled with a more viscous rubber material and inserted over the teeth and held in place for 4 minutes. During the 3 to 4 minutes, the liquid material becomes a rubbery solid. When this transition is complete, the tray is removed from the mouth and checked for reproduction of detail and accuracy.
Next, a record of the way the teeth come together (bite relationship) is obtained and a mold of the opposing teeth is made to ensure a comfortable bite when the crown is placed in the mouth.
Temporary Crown Until Permanent Crown Is Processed
The next step is to make temporary coverage of the teeth. These “temporaries” or “provisional crowns” (if they are intended to be in use for an extended period of time) are pre-made or made directly at this appointment. These are typically made of a tooth colored plastic that makes an effort at matching the remaining tooth color.
The prefabricated provisionals have to be adapted to the tooth form and reshaped and polished. The bite contact is checked and adjusted and they are attached to the teeth with temporary cement (glue) that allows easy removal when the permanent crowns are ready to be placed in your mouth.
The temporary cement is just that: temporary! Remember, they need to be removed easily when necessary. Sticky foods are to be avoided and real hot liquids make the cement softer and easier to displace. When the temporaries come loose they need to be re-cemented so that the teeth don’t shift. Waiting a day or two to return to the office is OK unless there is discomfort. See a dentist as soon as possible.
Learn more about high-quality crowns.
If it is a real complex bridge or many single units that interrelate, typically there is a ceramic substructure or metal trying. That means that the substructure is tested for accurate fit and design before the porcelain (tooth-like material) is added. The crowns or bridge is then completed and cemented with permanent cement at the insertion appointment. During that appointment, the shade (color) is verified, as is the bite relationship, the contour, and contact before permanent insertion. Naturally, you will have the opportunity to see the work before it is permanently inserted.
The damaged tooth or the anchor tooth is shaped with a cutting diamond into a very specific shape. There has to be room enough for the tooth-colored replacement material in order to make it look natural and be strong. An impression of the area is taken so that the laboratory can fabricate a custom shaped restoration for the area of missing teeth or to replace damaged tooth area. The fit of the crown or bridge has to be a perfect as possible.
A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) prosthesis that replaces missing teeth. There are several types of bridges. The “traditional bridge” is usually made of porcelain fused to metal. This type of bridge consists of anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and replacement (pontics) filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years, but they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear. Since they are made of porcelain (a type of glass), they can experience fractures if too much pressure is applied.
Reasons for a Fixed Bridge
- Fill space of missing teeth
- Maintain facial shape
- Prevent teeth from drifting
- Upgrade from a partial denture
- Restore chewing and speaking ability
- Restore your smile
If you're in need of dental restoration in Roseville or the Greater Sacramento area, please call Paul P. Binon DDS MSD at 916-786-6676 today. We are pleased to offer strong and aesthetically pleasing crowns, bridges and more.