Crowns, Bridges, Veneers and Implants
If you have a tooth that has broken, is extremely decayed, or has a very large old filling in it, the dentist may suggest to crown (or cap) the tooth. This will not only strengthen the tooth but it will protect the remaining tooth structure. The location of the tooth will make a difference as to what type of crown material is used. They can be made from gold, silver, porcelain or a combination.
The treatment can take two visits about two weeks apart. During the first visit the dentist will prepare the tooth for the crown, take an impression for the lab and choose a shade which matches your other teeth the best. A temporary crown will be placed and worn while the lab makes your crown. About two weeks later, when the crown comes back from the lab, the temporary crown will be removed. The dentist will try your new crown on to determine if the fit, shape and color are satisfactory. The crown is then cemented on using a special bonding cement. Finally, the dentist will make any necessary adjustments to insure the crown is comfortable.
The dentist may suggest a CEREC crown, which is an all porcelain/ceramic crown. The preparation of the tooth is similar to a lab crown but once the tooth is ready the dentist will use a computer to finish the crown. A computerized picture will be taken of the tooth to aid in determining the shape and size of the crown. A temporary crown will be placed and worn while the lab makes your crown. About two weeks later, when the crown comes back from the lab, the temporary crown will be removed. The dentist will try your new crown on to determine if the fit, shape and color are satisfactory. The crown is then cemented on using a special bonding cement and any necessary adjustments will be made to insure the crown is comfortable.
If you have a missing tooth or are having one extracted, one way to replace the tooth is with a bridge.
This is a dental unit that involves the tooth on both sides of the missing one. The dentist will prepare each side tooth similar to the crown prep in order to support the bridge. An impression of the area will be made and sent to a dental lab where they will fabricate the bridge. The dentist will try the bridge in for fit, shape and color and once everything is satisfactory it will be cemented in with a special bonding cement. Any adjustments will be made and with good home care of brushing and flossing the bridge can last for many years. Flossing must be done under the bridge on a daily basis and you will get special floss to help you.
If your teeth are stained or slightly crooked or you have a large space between your teeth a veneer is a good option. To prepare the tooth the dentist will remove a small amount of enamel from the front of the tooth, take an impression and send it to the lab. The veneer will match the shape and color of your teeth will be attached to your tooth by a special cement.
You will want to have regular dental visits and good home care to keep your veneers looking nice. Certain foods may cause discoloring such as coffee, tea, wine and even tobacco. You will want to eliminate habits like fingernail biting and chewing on ice to prevent the veneer from coming off.
A dental implant replaces the root of a tooth with a metal, screw-like post which is later finished off with an implant crown. How the dental surgery is done will depend on the type of implant and the condition of your jawbone. The healing time involved in this process can take several months but this is a nice alternative to a bridge or partial denture.