PORCELAIN CROWNS are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. Porcelain or gold crowns are most often placed after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out, breaks or a cusp fractures. Since the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body, teeth are subjected to tremendous amounts of pressure. Crowns reinforce the tooth, by providing a protective covering over the weakened tooth, adding strength, redistributing forces over the tooth, and protecting the tooth against further breakage. Crowns help to prevent fractures, and can cosmetically enhance your smile at the same time that it provides protection from fracture.
It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. First decay or old filling materials are removed from the tooth. The tooth is built back up to proper form, and then shaped to allow sufficient room for the porcelain to cover it in all directions. An impression is made of the tooth, which is used by the laboratory to order to fabricate the crown. While the crown is being made, a temporary crown is worn by the patient. At the second visit the temporary is removed, and the permanent crown is adjusted and cemented into place.
FIXED BRIDGES are simply crowns that are connected together to fill in a space where a tooth has been lost. A bridge is cemented onto the existing prepared teeth. Here is an example of a central incisor, replaced by a bridge. Alternatives to fixed bridges include the placement of an implant or a removable partial denture.
Porcelain Crowns & Fixed Bridges
Cosmetic & Family Dentistry