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Dental crowns are used when there is significant damage to a tooth that cannot be repaired with fillings, inlays, or onlays. A crown may be an excellent choice to restore a tooth for both structural and cosmetic reasons. A crown is a hard covering that fits over the entire surface of the tooth, adding strength and often improving appearance. In his cosmetic dentistry procedures, we use porcelain or porcelain-bonded-to-metal crowns to add strength to damaged teeth.
A "crown" replaces most of the tooth that is above the gum line(technically called the crown of the tooth) in the mouth (not the root). Crown placement is necessary when a tooth is so broken down that it can't be filled. Crowns will also be used in combination with veneers for cosmetic cases.
Virtually all crowns placed in our office are "esthetic crowns," meaning that they are tooth colored.
The standard crown today is called a "porcelain fused to metal" crown. This is a crown with a thin layer of metal on the inside for strength and porcelain on the outside or a natural appearance. The best looking crowns are all porcelain crowns (crowns with no metal inside). These are preferred for the front teeth.
It is important to replace a missing tooth in order to maintain proper alignment of the surrounding teeth. Dental bridges can be used to replace one or several missing teeth. Dental bridges help prevent other teeth from shifting out of place, while creating a pleasing look by filling in unsightly gaps.
The bridge includes an artificial tooth, or set of teeth, that fill in the gap left by missing teeth. Dental bridges may be either fixed or removable. They can be made from gold alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. A fixed bridge is bonded to surrounding anchor teeth. These anchor teeth are first prepared similar to teeth covered by dental crowns so that the bridge can be bonded in place. Removable bridges, or removable partial dentures, are held in place with metal clasps or with precision custom attachments.
A fixed bridge is a way to replace missing teeth. "Fixed" means that the bridge is cemented to the teeth and is not removable. Essentially a fixed bridge uses crowns to hold false teeth (pontics) in position in the mouth.
Implants can obviate the need for a fixed or removable bridge.
Full dentures are the replacement of all the teeth in an arch by a removable appliance. While this may represent the ultimate failure of dentistry or submission to unstoppable dental disease it is not necessarily a lifelong sentence to pain, discomfort, and embarrassment.
Today, dentures can look extremely natural, sometimes even better than crowns! They can usually be made to fit so that they are comfortable and functional.
In our office we consider a denture not only a functional alternative to teeth, but also a cosmetic procedure. This being the case, we do not offer "dentures in a day," or even in a week for that matter. If the dentures being fabricated are a replacement set, the procedure can take 4-6 visits over a course of as many week.
If we are fabricating "immediate dentures," those being inserted on the same day as the final extractions, the process can take 3-4 visits. However, we generally recommend that the immediate denture be considered temporary, and that a final set be fabricated after healing from the extractions has occurred.
Implant Supported Dentures
Implants can be used to stabilize dentures. This is an extraordinary advantage. It can be utilized when a person's oral bone is diminished, not allowing adequate denture stabilization, or for those who want or need a more secure fit.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is a procedure necessary to preserve a tooth that is severely broken down, decayed or infected. Often tooth pain is caused by bacteria entering the pulp tissue in the center of a tooth. In order to save such a tooth, root canal therapy must be performed. Root canal therapy, is the process of thoroughly cleaning and sealing the infected root canal space (hence the term root canal treatment). Without treatment, the infected tissue tissues inside the canals will infect the bone surrounding the root of the tooth. This area may become infected causing pain ,further infection and swelling ( an abscess).
I have been successfully performing root canal therapy for my patients for over 30 years. As such, most of the necessary root canal treatment is performed here in the office (rather that being referred out to a specialist).
Although for some, root canal treatment is a frightening prospect, it is actually a relatively gentle and pain free procedure. The procedure is started after anesthetic has been administered in so that no pain or discomfort is felt by the patient. The procedure can often be totally completed in one visit, however if a tooth is significantly infected or difficult to clean, more than one visit may be necessary.
Because the pulp is responsible for giving the tooth its vitality and strength, a tooth which has undergone root canal therapy may become weak and prone to chipping or breaking. Therefore, a restorative dentistry option such as an internal post and dental crown will often (but not always) be necessary to add strength to the tooth.
Tooth colored fillings are the standard in our office. I take great care to create long lasting esthetic restorations. When a filling is not adequate to maintain a healthy tooth, the another type of restoration will be recommended. This other type of restoration is most likely a crown or onlay (essentially a crown that does not go all the way to the gum line.