Crowns & Bridges

Dental Crowns & Bridges

Cosmetic & General Dentistry – North Hunter Dental – Michael Sansone, DDS, PC

Cosmetic Dentistry Teeth Bonding Crowns Bridges Porcelain Veneers - North Hunter Dental- Birmingham, MIDental Crowns
A crown (sometimes called a cap) is a porcelain cover, fabricated to look like your natural tooth, that protects and preserves a tooth that has become broken or fractured due to age or injury or darkened due to a root canal where the root nerve of the tooth had to be extracted due to extensive tooth decay. Crowns are also used in cosmetic dentistry to help improve and reshape your smile.  Crowns are made out of a variety of materials depending on the tooth location and the amount of biting pressure applied when chewing.  A crown can be made of gold or a combination of metal and porcelain.  Dr. Sansone will advise you on what materials will be best suited for your crown based on the tooth in question.

Types of Dental Crowns

Metal Crowns

Crowns made of gold or other metals are very strong and durable and won't chip or crack. Because of its color, gold is obviously not a very good cosmetic choice for front teeth.

Porcelain Crowns
Natural white colored porcelain crowns are matched to the color shade of the surrounding teeth. Dr. Sansone will select the best matched color shade so it blends well with the other teeth. Porcelain crowns are more likely to chip or crack over time due to stress so are generally used more on the front teeth.

ombination Crowns
A combination crown is where the porcelain is fused on top of metal making this combination extremely durable. A combination porcelain/metal crown is the best choice for upper and lower rear molars where most of the heavy chewing is done under the most pressure. Dr. Sansone will advise you on your option to go porcelain/metal or all porcelain.

Reasons You May Need a Crown:

You may be advised to get a crown do to the following reasons:

1.) The tooth has cracked on the sides due to large worn fillings
2.) The tooth had a recent root canal and the top of the tooth needs to be protected
3.) Cosmetic dentistry to correct a troublesome tooth problem
4.) Reshape and even up the tooth size to the surrounding teeth
5.) Replace an old crown that has become cracked or loosened
6.) Correct an improper misaligned bite problem

Making Your New Crown…
Preparing a tooth for a crown can sometimes take a couple dental visits. Necessary steps must be taken in the proper order to insure a proper fit and a strong bond. First the area is anesthetized then the tooth is reduced in shape and size. Next, any tooth decay is completely removed from within the tooth. Then a mold is taken of the reshaped tooth and the surrounding teeth. A temporary crown is put in place while the mold is sent to the dental lab for fabrication of the new crown.

Tips while wearing the temporary Dental Crown:

1.) Avoid eating hard or sticky foods (candy apples) as they can cause the temporary crown to pull off. If this happens, you'll need to have the dentist re-cement it back on.
2.) Be careful when flossing around the temporary crown as this can cause it to come loose when pulling up on it. Pull floss straight out along the side of the tooth not up.
3.) Brush gently around the temporary crown as undue pressure can cause the cap to loosen and pop off.

The patient returns to our office once the crown is ready to be put into place and permanently bonded onto the prepared original tooth.
When the temporary crown is removed, the area is carefully cleaned and dried so the new crown (or cap) can be permanently bonded into place. Then any further adjustments are made so the bite feels normal and the shape of the crown is properly fitted against the surrounding teeth. Once cemented into place, the crown looks as natural as the original tooth and much stronger for biting and chewing.

Taking Care for Your New Crown
Your new crown will enhance your smile and make you feel more confident. Remember to take care not to over abuse the crown and to take care when flossing and brushing. Your new crown will last for many years when properly cared for.

Dental Bridges & Partials

What is a Dental Bridge?

A bridge is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Filling in the gap of a missing tooth can improve your bite, your smile appearance and help keep teeth from shifting into the open space. Missing teeth can cause a number of dental issues as well as weaken your ability to properly bite and chew.  It's best not to leave gaps between your teeth as neighboring teeth will begin to shift and move away from existing teeth and in towards the gap.  They can even become crooked…making it more difficult to properly bite and fit a dental bridge.

Types of Dental Bridges
There are two main types of bridges: Conventional and Resin-bonded Bridges. A conventional bridge has crown caps on each end that support a suspended porcelain tooth that will take the place of the original missing tooth.  There are two crowns attached on each end of an artificial tooth that takes the place of the missing tooth, then the two crowns are cemented or bonded over the natural teeth on either side of the missing tooth.

Getting a Dental Bridge Made
It usually takes two or more office visits to prepare, fit and cement a dental bridge into place once the proper bridge type has been selected for the missing tooth.  In the case of a conventional bridge the two teeth on both sides of the missing tooth have to be reshaped in preparation for the fabricated crown bridge attachment. Some limited reshaping is also necessary with the resin-bonded bridge. Then impressions are made of the teeth, sent to the dental lab in order to  make the bridge. The entire process can take a few weeks so during that time you may need to wear a temporary bridge to protect your reshaped teeth. Care should be taken when biting and chewing with a temporary bridge as it is not yet permanently bonded to the supporting teeth.

Fitting Your Dental Bridge
When the new bridge is ready, Dr. Sansone will make adjustments to properly fit it into position for comfort and bite alignment. Then the bridge is bonded into place.  Should you have any problems or discomfort with your new bridge during the next few days, call our office for advice or to see if any further adjustments need to be made.

How to Care for Your New Bridge
Proper care of your new bridge is important as well as continued care of your teeth and gums. Healthy gums will help insure the teeth holding your bridge in place will stay strong and long lasting. We advise a few simple daily maintenance tips for caring for your new bridge. Cleaning your bridge involves daily brushing and flossing. Brush along the surface and sides of the bridge just like you do your normal teeth and use a special "thick floss" to clean away trapped food particles and prevent bacteria. Use floss theaders to help assist in threading the floss under the fixed bridge. Dr. Sansone will check your bridge when you come in for your 6 month checkup to make sure it hasn't become loose and that there are no other issues.

Benefits of Your New Dental Bridge
Now that the gap in your teeth is filled in by your new bridge, the other teeth will be kept in their proper place and won't start shifting and getting crooked. Chewing will become easier as you now have a more even and connected row of teeth. The upper and lower teeth can come together now and make a solid natural chewing surface just like your original teeth.