Dental Crowns and Bridges
If you have a tooth that is seriously damaged, either by decay, trauma, or an old filling that is failing, a dental crown can restore your tooth’s strength and beauty. A dental crown fits over the entire visible surface of the tooth, basically giving you a brand-new tooth as far as the appearance and strength goes, and it’s supported by your natural tooth root, so it’s practically good as new. Dental crowns can also be used to support a dental bridge, which is a good tooth replacement option. However, it’s important to work with a neuromuscular dentist when getting your dental crown to ensure that your restoration fits with your current bite and doesn’t cause future bite problems.
What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are like a sheath that fits over your natural tooth to protect and strengthen it. In the past, they were made of metal—often gold. Nowadays, dental crowns are more likely to be made of ceramic. They are sometimes made of porcelain fused to metal, which has a metal interior with a surface of ceramic material. These allow you to restore your attractive smile at the same time as you’re strengthening your tooth.
When Are Dental Crowns Used?
Dental crowns can be used in many situations where your tooth needs protection and support, such as:
- Cracked tooth
- Large fillings have weakened the tooth
- During an endodontic (root canal) procedure
- Supporting a dental bridge
- Building up a small tooth
Dental crowns are the most commonly-requested cosmetic dentistry or restorative dentistry procedure.
What Are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are a tooth replacement option that can be used if you have a single missing tooth. They were the best tooth replacement option we had until the development of dental implants. They are normally three units fused together: two dental crowns on either side of a pontic (false tooth). When the dental crowns are placed on your teeth, the replacement tooth is supported by your natural teeth.
Dental bridges are fixed and they let you eat pretty much all of the foods you enjoyed before. They don’t support your gums or jawbone, so it’s likely that you will experience some loss of bone material there, which may be problematic if you want a dental implant in the future.
How Dental Crowns Are Made
To make dental crowns, your tooth is first prepared. This typically means removing all damaged tooth material, as well as old fillings. In a root canal, it also means removing the pulp from your tooth, which has become infected.
Next, we take an impression of your tooth. Although many dental offices still use the plastic impression material, one of our dental technologies is iTero, a digital impression technique that means you don’t have to bite down in the impression material, which can make some people gag.
Then we will send your impressions to the lab, where they will craft your dental crown. Once it is sent back to us, we will make sure the crown fits, then permanently cement it in place.
Dental Crowns and Neuromuscular Dentistry
Because dental crowns are so strong, they have the potential to either save or wreck the function of your bite. Dental crowns can be used to support your bite if wear or poor fitting of your teeth (called malocclusion) have caused it to move out of alignment. However, a dentist who does not understand the principles of neuromuscular dentistry can put in a crown that actually causes your bite to be out of alignment. This can cause the crown to fail early, cause damage to other teeth, or result in a poor bite.
If you need a crown, you should strongly consider working with a neuromuscular dentist. At Grapevine Dental Care, your dental work is also covered by our Dental Warranty.