Restore Missing and Damaged Teeth
Crowns are basically caps that surround the entire tooth. They are recommended for the following circumstances:
- Teeth that have been heavily restored. Teeth where over 50% of the natural tooth is missing or replaced by a filling.
- Teeth that are breaking down. If we notice crack line of craze lines of teeth, we may recommend crowns to protect the teeth and improve their longevity.
- Root canal treated molars and premolars. After a tooth has had a root canal, the nerve of the tooth is now missing. These teeth tend to chip and fracture more readily than normal healthy teeth. In order to improve the longevity of these teeth, crowns are recommended to protect these fragile teeth from splitting or breaking
Here at the Urban Dentist we offer three types of crowns:
1. The first types of crown we offer are all porcelain crowns. They look the best. We use the most up to date technologies and advanced porcelains that give the crown a life-like quality that is unmatched by other types of crowns.
2. The second are the conventional porcelain fused to metal crowns, which are made with a metal substructure with porcelain stacked on top of it. These crowns look like natural teeth, however, over time, if the patient’s gums recede, a black line at the bottom of the crown may be revealed. This line is usually just the metal that is showing through under the porcelain.
3. The last type of crown we offer at our Richmond dentist clinic are the full gold crowns, which we usually suggest for the teeth that are not visible when you smile. The advantage of this type of crown is that gold crowns are very strong and they never chip. They last a long time and require, the least amount of tooth reduction. In order for us to make a crown, we first need to prepare the tooth by removing about 1 to 2 mms of tooth structure off the biting surface on the tooth. The advantage of gold crowns is that we just need to remove 1mm vs. 2mm for porcelains. This way we can fit gold crowns onto short teeth and minimize the amount of tooth reduction.
The process of making a crown takes two appointments. In the first visit, the tooth is prepared creating about a millimeter of space all the way around the tooth. After the preparation, we take an impression or mould of the tooth to send to our dental laboratory that will fabricate the crown. We will make a temporary crown that covers the tooth while the lab makes the actual crown. After two weeks, you will come in for a second appointment where we will gently remove the temporary and try in the final crown. If it fits well and looks good, we will cement it in place.
What Are Bridges?
Bridges are a great alternative to replacing missing teeth. A bridge is a one-piece unit that is permanently cemented onto your teeth and does not come off. The most basic bridge is made up of two crowned teeth on either side of a missing tooth that is connect by a fake tooth, called a pontic.
In order for a bridge to be constructed the two teeth on either side of the missing tooth need to be prepared. We prepare these teeth by creating about a millimeter of space around each of these teeth. The entire procedure takes at least two appointments. The first is for the preparation, at which time we will also take an impression or mould of the prepared teeth. After the impression, we will also fabricate a custom made temporary bridge that will cover the prepared teeth and fill in the missing space. The second appointment comes two weeks later when we bring you in for the fitting of the bridge. If the bridge fits well and looks good, we would then cement the bridge in place.
Once you have the new bridge, it is of critical importance to maintain the bridge properly in order to ensure its longevity. One of the new techniques a bridge wearer must learn is to use a device called a floss threader. Here at the urban dentist, we will demonstrate it’s use on the date that your bridge is delivered. Using the floss threader, you are to thread a piece of floss underneath the pontic, or fake tooth, and floss the tooth in front and behind the pontic. Food and plaque will be trapped in those areas and it is important to clean those areas daily.