Crowns, sometimes called caps, are a common procedure in the United States. A crown is used to restore full function to a severely decayed or fractured tooth. The procedure involves shaving 1-2 mm of tooth structure from around the tooth and off of the top of the tooth and then fabricating a cap that is cemented over the top. This restores function back to the tooth so that you can use it for chewing and helps to reinforce the tooth protecting it from further fracture. Believe it or not, the longest lasting, most conservative and strongest material available for this is the original material used to do this procedure – Gold. We still offer gold to our patients, but modern porcelains have given us many options to choose from and have made it much easier to do aesthetically pleasing, conservative treatments for your teeth. There is often some trade offs between aesthetics, strength, and conservativeness when you look at the options. We pride ourselves in offering and discussing all options with patients so they can choose the material that best fits both their needs and desires.
How Crowns are made
Traditionally, a tooth was prepared to receive a crown and you had to wear an acrylic temporary crown for two weeks while the permanent one was made. We use this technique when appropriate but also offer the option of having a permanent crown made out of solid porcelain right here in our office in one visit. These Same-Day Dental Crowns are not necessarily the best option in all situations so we recommend you consult with Dr Wetherington regarding this option.
A bridge is simply two crowns with a fake tooth between them that is used to “bridge” the gap left by a missing tooth. They can be highly successful when done properly and offer a wonderful long lasting option. Despite the excellent track record provided by bridges, dental implants are starting to replace bridges as the best choice for replacing a lost tooth because an implant offers a longer lasting solution in most situations. Bridges still provide a viable and predictable option for replacing your missing tooth. Since both have their drawbacks and strengths, it is important to discuss both with your dentist. Since we provide both services from start to finish in our office and are well informed of their relative strengths and weaknesses, we can help guide you through the decision making process.