Dental Crowns and Bridges
Even with excellent dental care and hygiene, not every tooth lasts forever. Large older fillings, fractures, decay above and below the gum line, as well as many other factors can cause teeth to break down over time. Sometimes this deterioration can be repaired with fillings but when breakdown is more severe, Dr. Curtin or Dr. Janowski may recommend a dental crown or bridge.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown essentially is a porcelain or porcelain and metal cap that fits on top of prepared sound tooth structure. A well-made crown should look and function like a natural tooth. Crown life-spans vary based on a number of factors, but it's not unusual for a crown to last several years or even a decade or longer. Crowns can help teeth that have broken or been undermined by larger fillings, trauma, or decay.
What is a dental bridge?
Bridges are similar to crowns in that they rely on sound, health tooth structure (or sometimes multiple implants) but in the case of bridges, tooth or more teeth are prepared to support a space where a tooth or multiple teeth are missing. Both bridges and crowns are placed with a strong dental cement (they are not removable like dentures or partial dentures). For many people who aren't a candidate for a dental implant to replace a missing tooth, a dental bridge many times can be a suitable alternative.
How are dental crowns or bridges made?
Dr. Janowski and Dr. Curtin both have significant experience in crown and bridge fabrication and have also attended multiple additional dental courses in perfecting the process. They have completed hundreds of long-lasting crowns for their patients over the years, and you can be rest assured they will do everything possible to make your appointment efficient, pain-free, and easy.
Most bridge or crown appointments begin with our doctors numbing the teeth and tissue that they'll be treating. The teeth are then prepared and eradicated of any decay, undermined or fractured tooth structure, or diseased gingival tissue. Once only healthy tooth structure remains, our doctors in most cases will replace lost tooth structure with a large tooth colored filling, called a build-up. Build-ups give teeth that have fractured or suffered from substantial decay more structure and stability to support the eventual crown or bridge.
Once this process is complete, our doctors and assistant will take an impression of your prepared tooth using a putty material or digital scanner depending on the type of crown that is being fabricated. If we are making the crown in our office using our CEREC system, the doctor will then design mill and try-in your crown before cementing with a high-grade dental cement. If we have elected to send your crown to a lab for fabrication, our doctors will make a temporary crown for you to protect your tooth and keep you comfortable and functioning until your final crown arrives in the office (which normally takes 2-3 weeks). When your final crown arrives, we'll bring you in for a quick appointment to check the fit and function of the crown before cementing it.
Does your office offer CEREC crowns or crowns-in-a-day?
Our office has the very latest in modern digital dental technology and that includes a digital system that allows us to scan and mill crowns in a day so patients don't have to return for a second crown visit and can leave with their final crown cemented. This technology is great for emergency crown cases, particularly when patients have limited availability for scheduling.
However, not every tooth is a perfect candidate for crown-in-a-day fabrication and Dr. Janowski and Dr. Curtin will want to evaluate your particularly situation before recommending the best material and system for the type of crown you require.
If you are interested in our CEREC system or would like to have your crown completed in one visit, just let our office know upon appointing. If it's a good choice for you, we'll be happy to accommodate you!