Dental Crowns and Bridges
Every tooth can be divided in two—the portion below the gum line called the root and the portion above called the crown. In cases where the crown becomes so severely damaged by decay or traumatic injury, we can preserve and protect the remaining tooth structure with a dental crown. Also called a dental cap, this restoration helps maintain a tooth’s form and function. At Lakefront Dental, our dentists and their staff strive to adhere to the principles of conservative dentistry. We use dental crowns to help our patients have beautiful smiles with their natural teeth. When one or several teeth have gone missing in a row, a dental bridge replaces them, secured by a crown on each tooth surrounding the gap.
When Do I Need a Crown?
A dental crown is actually used for a number of restorative needs and may also be appropriate in some cosmetic cases, as well. For example, a crown can be used to:
- Protect a tooth that has been weakened by a large cavity
- Preserve the structure of a tooth that is threatened by a penetrating crack
- Rebuild a tooth that is unusually worn down
- Act as the abutment that holds a dental bridge in place
- Complete a dental implant restoration
- Conceal a tooth that is permanently stained or misshaped
In the past, crowns were made of metal, such as silver amalgam or gold. Today, however dental crowns can be made of porcelain or ceramic so the color of your tooth is no different than the others. And thanks to advances in the manufacture of these materials, you can expect your all-porcelain or all-ceramic crown to last for years and be very strong.
Process for a Dental Crown in Chicago
Although the materials of a dental crown may be different, the manner in which a crown is placed hasn’t changed all that much. You’ll need to schedule two visits to Lakefront Dental. At the first, the tooth in question will be prepared. After anesthetizing the tooth and surrounding tissue, your dentist will remove decay and carefully reshape the tooth by filing away some enamel from the sides and biting surface. This is done to make sure your new dental crown fits comfortably between the adjacent teeth and does not feel odd when you bite down. After this, an impression of the tooth is made. This impression allows us to give you a temporary acrylic crown to wear while the permanent crown is custom crafted in our dental lab. While the temporary is in place, you’ll need to be a bit careful. Try to chew on the other side of your mouth to avoid causing the crown to come off.
In a couple of weeks, you’ll return to our office to have the permanent crown cemented over your tooth. To care for your dental crown, brush with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day.
What Is a Bridge?
A dental bridge is a restoration that replaces one, two, or several teeth that are missing in a row. It restores a patient’s ability to chew and speak without problems, and the bridge also prevents the surrounding teeth from drifting out of alignment. A fixed bridge cannot be removed except by the dentist.
A bridge works by using healthy, natural teeth surrounding the gap as anchors, or abutments, for the prosthetic teeth (pontics) that fill in the space between. It is a natural-looking, long-lasting restoration.
The process for placing a dental bridge is much the same as that of a dental crown. It occurs over the course of two visits to our office, during which we will prepare your teeth for the crowns, take impressions, molds, and then place the prepared restoration in the second appointment.
Request an Appointment Today!
If you have damaged or missing teeth, you could benefit from a dental crown or bridge. Get in touch with Lakefront Dental today!