Crowns Bridges

If you have one or more damaged or missing teeth, Plymouth prosthodontist Metropolitan Prosthodontics can restore your oral health and enhance your smile with a dental crown or bridge procedure. A crown used to rebuild a tooth offers more protection than a filling. It encases the entire structure of the tooth above the gum and can withstand strong bite pressure. Crowns can also be used to anchor a fixed dental bridge that holds artificial teeth in place permanently.

How We Use Dental Crowns

Dental crowns at your Plymouth prosthodontist provide a versatile solution to repair or help replace teeth. Crowns repair and strengthen teeth with damage too extensive for a filling. They encase the entire surface of a decayed or fractured tooth. This optimizes functionality and improves appearance by reinstating natural shape, size and color.

We also use crowns to:

  • Restore worn-down teeth.
  • Enhance appearance of a misshapen tooth.
  • Replace a large filling that’s become compromised.
  • Improving appearance of a tarnished filling.
  • Protect a tooth after root canal treatment.

A further application of crowns in prosthodontic dentistry is to replace teeth in conjunction with bridges or dental implants.

The Dental Crown Procedure

If you have a badly decayed or physically damaged tooth, a dental crown procedure removes unhealthy tissue and then restores the tooth to normal function and appearance.

The process typically takes two appointments and includes:

  • Injection of local anesthetic to numb the area.
  • Filing down the tooth.
  • Taking an impression of the mouth.
  • Sending the impression to a dental lab to fabricate the crown.
  • Placing a temporary crown.
  • Removal of temporary crown and cleaning the tooth.
  • Placing the lab-made permanent crown.

In repairing a damaged tooth, the crown procedure strengthens remaining healthy tooth structure and prevents infection penetrating into the tooth nerve. Crowns are also used in dental implant treatment. After the implant has fused with jawbone to form an artificial tooth root, a crown provides the finishing touch – the dental prosthetic attached to the top of the implant.

Benefits of Porcelain Dental Crowns

Crowns are made from various materials. Metropolitan Prosthodontics uses porcelain crowns that blend seamlessly in the mouth for the best aesthetic outcome. Porcelain crowns look natural because they reflect light like a real tooth, and they resist staining and discoloration better than some other types of crowns.

Crowns are as strong as natural teeth and can last up to 15 years, enhancing appearance of the tooth and improving bite function. No special care is needed for porcelain crowns. You simply brush and floss as normal.

Dental Bridges at Your Plymouth Prosthodontist

As the name suggests, a dental bridge fills the gap left by a single missing tooth or a section of a few missing consecutive teeth. Unlike removable partial dentures, a fixed bridge remains in the mouth permanently. Our Plymouth prosthodontists offer both traditional bridges and bridges supported by dental implants.

Traditional Bridges

A traditional bridge has one or two artificial teeth suspended from crowns placed on healthy teeth either side of the gap. As with crowns to repair a tooth, the process of getting a dental bridge usually requires two appointments. The procedure entails:

  • Trimming teeth either side of the gap, under local anesthesia.
  • Placement of crowns on these teeth.
  • Taking impressions of your mouth.
  • Placing a temporary bridge.
  • Sending the impressions to a dental lab.
  • Making the crowns and synthetic tooth or teeth in the dental lab.
  • Fitting your new, permanent bridge.
  • Adjusting the bridge if necessary.

Bridges with Dental Implants

If you need a few missing adjacent teeth replacing, an implant-supported bridge will be more stable than a traditional bridge. This is because a bridge with implants doesn’t rely on natural teeth for support. Instead, the bridge is attached to crowns placed on dental implants.

Benefits of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges fix the embarrassing problem of an unsightly gap in your smile. Like dental crowns, a bridge can last up to 15 years. In providing a replacement tooth or teeth, a bridge allows you to eat and speak without difficulty. It also avoids the appearance of a shrunken face that can result from loss of teeth that help support facial muscles.

A bridge also prevents remaining teeth from shifting out of place. And with a fixed bridge you don’t have the hassle of taking care of a removable denture – having to constantly take it out for cleaning and soaking and when you clean your teeth. Implant-supported bridges avoid irreversible modification of surrounding healthy teeth and the implant prevents jawbone loss that occurs in the absence of a tooth root.

Digital Scanning for Crowns and Bridges

Old-style impressions to make crowns and bridges mean a gooey material in your mouth that molds to the shape of your teeth. These impressions can irritate the back of the throat – particularly upsetting if you have a strong gag reflex. Our Plymouth prosthodontists avoid this issue. We use state-of-the-art 3D scanning technology to produce virtual, digital impressions. Digital scans also result in better-quality impressions and a more precise fit for your crown or bridge. Furthermore, 3D scanning is faster than traditional impressions, so you spend less time in the dental chair. And digital scans generally cost about the same as a conventional impression.

Is a Crown or Bridge Right for You?

If you have a damaged or diseased tooth, a crown may provide the solution to avoid extraction. A crown can also be a good option to enhance appearance of a tooth. If you’ve lost a single tooth or several teeth, a dental bridge – supported by crowns or implants – can provide a superior alternative to a removable denture.

A traditional bridge may be a good choice when gum and bone have receded because a tooth or teeth have been missing for some time. On the other hand, an implant-supported bridge avoids having to modify adjacent healthy teeth. Your Plymouth prosthodontist offers both crown and bridge treatments, with digital imaging that avoids risk of error during the fabrication process and ensures a precise fit.

Call us at (763) 559-7600 to find out more about crowns and bridges at Metropolitan Prosthodontics or schedule a consultation online.