A Crowning Achievement
When too much tooth structure has been lost due to decay or fracture, the best treatment choice to restore the tooth to normal function and cosmetic appearance is often the fabrication of a crown [cap]. Crowns are usually made of porcelain fused to metal or all-ceramic depending on the situation and judgment of the dentist. The restoration of the damaged tooth becomes more of an esthetic concern if it is located near the front of one's mouth. How we perceive our smile and appearance affects our self-esteem, our moods and how we function in social and business relationships. So, when this situation occurs, there is a sense of urgency.
The tooth is prepared to allow enough room for the crown to fit over the tooth without extending too far and interfering with the person's occlusion [bite]. This procedure usually takes 2 visits, depending on the situation. A provisional acrylic crown is made and temporarily cemented over the tooth. In the second visit, the crown is "tried in" to see how accurately it fits and to check that the ceramic color chosen matches the surrounding teeth. If both the patient and dentist are satisfied, the crown is permanently cemented or bonded to the tooth. Call our office if you think you're a candidate for this type of procedure.
Bridging The Gaps
How we perceive our smile and appearance affects our self-esteem, our moods and how we function in social and business relationships. Common conditions that impact negatively on your smile include broken, cracked or worn teeth, discolored teeth, missing teeth, crooked teeth, decayed teeth, gaps between your teeth and/or "gummy smiles." Each patient and each specific circumstance must be evaluated on its own merits. Factors such as occlusion [bite], oral habits, available space, health of the gum tissue, severity of the problem and patient expectation must be taken into consideration while planning your cosmetic makeover. This person was missing his upper lateral incisors and had unsightly gaps as a result. Many people are left with spaces created by extraction of teeth due to severe cavities or periodontal [gum] disease.
In those circumstances, the treatment of choice may be a fixed bridge [an attached group of crowns (caps)] to replace the missing teeth.
Several teeth are prepared [cut into a conical shape] to serve as abutments [teeth to which the fixed bridge is attached] so that the pontics [crowns that replace the missing teeth] are held in position. This procedure usually takes 2-4 visits, depending on how extensive the situation is, and is completed when the bridge is permanently cemented to the abutment teeth. The most common fixed bridges are made with porcelain fused to metal for both strength and esthetics. Call our office if you think you're a candidate for this type of procedure.