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Crowns & Bridges

Dental Crowns

A crown is a prosthetic covering that fully covers a damaged tooth, extending all the way down the sides to the gum line. Crowns are quite durable, and with proper care, can last decades. The advanced materials and exact fit of today’s crowns ensure your crowned tooth will look like a natural, healthy tooth. And, it will have the strength of one, too.

Crowns are used to:

  • Cover a cavity that is too large for a routine dental filling
  • Repair a fractured filling
  • Restore a cracked tooth
  • Strengthen a weakened tooth
  • Build up worn a worn tooth to improve bite alignment and reduce your risk for TMD (temporomandibular joint disorders)
  • Conceal severe stains
  • Improve the look of an irregularly shaped or disproportionately small tooth

After planning your procedure and helping you select the right type of restoration, our dentist will likely place your crown in two appointments. At your first treatment appointment, your tooth will be prepared by removing any decayed or damaged enamel. This process will also create room for the crown so that it will lie flat against your prepared tooth and maintain the natural force of your bite. After reshaping your tooth, impressions will be made of your mouth and you will receive a well-fitting temporary crown so you can smile and eat with ease while waiting for our dental lab to fabricate your custom crown. At your second appointment, your temporary crown will be removed and your lab-fabricated crown cemented in place. Your dentist will make sure the crown fits comfortably in your bite and that you are happy with the appearance of your restored tooth.

Crown Materials

Crowns can be made using a variety of high-quality materials, and your Smile Design dentist will explain the options and guide you in making an appropriate decision. Considerations that go into designing a crown are its shape for best appearance and occlusion, and in the case of tooth-colored porcelain crowns, the translucency, reflectivity, and color of the crown to match your natural teeth.

For natural aesthetics, tooth-colored crowns are recommended for teeth that show when you smile, talk and laugh. Tooth-colored crowns can be made of:

  • Porcelain fused on an underlying metal structure to provide strength
  • All porcelain for a more natural appearance but more limited strength
  • Porcelain fused on zirconia for a more natural appearance and strength
  • All zirconia for when the need for strength outweighs the desire most lifelike appearance

Zirconia is slightly translucent, so when it is used for the core of a crown with an overlay of porcelain, there is more lifelike sparkle than when the core of a crown is metal. Porcelain-fused-on-zirconia crowns are a popular choice for longevity plus aesthetics. Both porcelain and zirconia are available in a wide range of natural colors.

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth. A bridge can be used to:

  • Fill the space of missing teeth
  • Maintain facial shape
  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
  • Restore chewing and speaking ability
  • Restore your smile
  • Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance

There are additional benefits of the implant option.

  • The implant stimulates bone growth to prevent bone resorption and resultant changes to your jaw structure. This means your facial structure will not appear prematurely aged, and the gum tissue will continue to fit well around the bridge long into the future.
  • An implant-retained bridge provides for the strongest chewing function.
  • An implant-retained bridge is more durable than a traditional bridge and therefore predicted to last longer. Traditional dental bridges will last many years, but they commonly need replacement or to be re-cemented due to normal wear.
  • Oftentimes, once an implant is placed, it can serve as the anchor for a future more extensive bridge if one or more adjacent teeth become no longer viable.

Types of Bridges

Your Smile Design dentist will discuss the best options for your oral health circumstances with you and help you in making the decision that is most appropriate for you.

  • The “traditional bridge” has been the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal. This type of bridge consists of two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
  • A cantilevered bridge is used when there is only one adjacent natural tooth that can be crowned to retain the bridging prosthesis.
  • Maryland bonded bridges (also called “resin-bonded bridges”) are made of plastic teeth and gums that are supported by a metal framework and bonded to the adjoining teeth.
  • Implant retained crowns and multi-unit bridges are also very popular now and provide the most conservative treatment. What do we mean by “most conservative” treatment? An implant-retained crown or multi-unit bridge does not require the removal of enamel from abutment teeth to receive crowns. The teeth adjacent to the implant-filled gap remain intact. They are conserved.

Family-owned and operated, Smile Design provides personalized attention for each of our patients throughout the state of Florida. We believe in building a strong, trusting relationship with our patients and we’ll take the time to get to know you, listen to your concerns, and answer any questions you may have about your dental hygiene, oral health problems, the treatments our doctors recommend, and your smile appearance.

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