What Is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a sheath that fits over the visible part of your tooth (also confusingly called the “crown” of your tooth)—sometimes called a cap, a dental crown gives your tooth an entirely new surface, which can be beautiful and strong. It can take a badly damaged tooth and make it highly attractive and functional again.
There are three common types of dental crowns:
Metal crowns are typically made of noble metals (like gold), which can make them expensive. They are also less attractive than ceramic crowns. However, they are durable and can be thinner than other crowns.
PFM crowns are a compromise with metal crowns. They are more attractive but less durable. They’re also less attractive than full ceramic crowns.
Modern ceramic crowns can be as strong as or stronger than metal crowns. They look beautiful, and we can use our CEREC system to produce them while you wait, so you don’t have to make a second appointment to complete your procedure.
What Are Dental Bridges?
A dental bridge is one or more replacement teeth fixed in your mouth, supported by dental implants or crowns over your natural teeth. A traditional bridge uses your natural teeth to help a replacement tooth, called a pontic. Technically, it is possible to make bridges with many units, interspersing pontics and crowns. This was common before dental implants (and still is in countries where dental implants are hard to access). Now, most traditional bridges include a single pontic supported by a dental crown on each side. Otherwise, we recommend dental implants.
An implant bridge can replace as many teeth as necessary, using 2-8 dental implants. The smallest implant bridge might replace just two teeth. The largest can replace an entire arch of teeth (and they’re often called implant dentures).
Dental bridges provide effective replacement teeth. Dental implants or natural teeth secure the teeth, letting you bite and chew normally. It won’t fall out.
When You Might Need a Dental Crown
Dr. Collins typically uses a dental crown when your tooth is badly damaged. Typical situations where you’ll get a dental crown include:
With a large cavity, we recommend considering ceramic fillings like inlays and onlays first. However, there are times when a tooth needs a crown, such as when the cavity has weakened the tooth. This is often the case if you’ve had a large metal amalgam filling for years, which can crack the tooth. Dental crowns look as attractive as porcelain veneers, so we’ll use them if the situation calls for more restoration than a veneer can give.
Root canal therapy removes the living part of the tooth. Afterward, the tooth typically needs the support and protection of a dental crown. Dental crowns also support dental bridges and can provide an attractive, functional restoration for a dental implant.
When You Might Need a Dental Bridge
A dental bridge is a highly effective tooth replacement. You might choose a traditional dental bridge if:
We recommend a traditional dental bridge over a dental implant in this situation. However, we will likely recommend an implant bridge in most cases, especially if you need to replace more than one tooth.
The Dental Crowns and Bridges in a Day Procedure
In the past, getting a dental crown or bridge took multiple appointments. However, with the CEREC system, we can now supply your dental crowns and bridges in a single appointment. At your appointment, we’ll ensure you’re comfortable, numbing your tooth to ensure you won’t experience discomfort.
Then, we’ll prepare your tooth for the crown. This means removing tooth enamel to shape your tooth to support the dental crown. Once your tooth is ready, we will use a small scanner to collect a 3D image of your tooth. This takes less than a minute–you don’t have to bite into impression material. Then, we’ll design the crown using the CEREC software. We send the design to the CAD/CAM mill, which carves the crown from a block of advanced ceramic. Then, the ceramic is fired to give precise color and luster match to your natural teeth. Manufacturing a CEREC crown takes less than an hour.
We’ll ensure we have the perfect fit and color match, then cement the crown to your tooth.
The process for dental bridges is the same, except that we’ll prepare two teeth and produce the bridge all at once from a larger ceramic block.
Get a Dental Crown in a Day in Cheney
You don’t have to travel out of town to enjoy the convenience of crown-in-a-day technology. Dr. Chris Collins is an expert at using CEREC to help his patients get beautiful, durable crowns and bridges in a single visit.
Please call (509) 235-8451 or use our online form today to request an appointment at Collins Family Dentistry in Cheney.