Dental Crowns & Bridges

What Are Dental Crowns?

A tooth crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A tooth crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.

Although there are several types of dental crowns, porcelain or ceramic crowns are the most popular because they resemble your natural teeth. Tooth-colored crowns are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced.

Porcelain dental crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color of your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.

Benefits of Dental Crowns

Patients may need a tooth crown for one of several reasons, including the following:

  • Broken or fractured teeth: Teeth that are damaged aren’t able to serve their purpose, impacting your health and self esteem. In many situations like this we will recommend a crown.
  • Cosmetic enhancement: If you want to give your teeth a natural, original look that you can be proud of, crowns serve an important role in taking back your smile!
  • Decayed teeth: A decayed tooth requires a large filling, weakening your tooth. At this point a crown would be placed to strengthen your tooth and protect it from further damage.
  • Fractured fillings: When a filling cracks, your tooth becomes susceptible to more damage, including infection. Chewing and biting will also become painful and uncomfortable. A crown would be used in this situation to restore the health and integrity of your tooth.
  • Large fillings: If a filling is large enough, the structure of your tooth becomes damaged, potentially requiring a crown.
  • Tooth has a root canal: A root canal can compromise the strength of your tooth. A crown encapsulates your tooth and helps to prevent it from breaking.
  • Cap a single dental implant: Dental implants (see below)  are a procedure designed to replace your original teeth. The visible part of a dental implant is a porcelain crown.
  • Better hireability: Numerous studies have shown that having attractive teeth increases your chances of hireability during a job interview. Employers pay attention to appearance, and an outstanding smile is a noteworthy way to leave a lasting impression.

The Dental Crowns Procedure

A tooth crown procedure usually requires two appointments.

Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom tooth crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new, permanent tooth crown is crafted by a dental laboratory.

First, we will numb your tooth to make the procedure as painless as possible, and ensure maximum comfort. While the tooth is numb, Dr. Rice will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the tooth crown.

Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.

At your second appointment, your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new dental crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.

You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new tooth crown. We want you to be excited about your new smile as we are!

What Is a Dental Bridge?

A missing tooth does more than ruin the look of your smile—it can also cause issues to the surrounding areas of your mouth. The bone of your jaw relies on an intact, healthy tooth to maintain its proper function. Without a tooth present, bone loss will eventually occur.

Missing teeth don’t need to keep you from carrying out your daily responsibilities. Modern dentistry has made it possible to give you new teeth that look and function just like the originals. A dental implant makes it possible to avoid the problems that can result from a lost tooth.

A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.

There are several types of dental bridges. When you come to our office in Elgin, IL, you and Dr. Rice will discuss the best options for your particular case.

The “traditional dental bridge” is usually made of porcelain fused to metal. Porcelain fixed bridges are most popular because they resemble your natural teeth.

This type of dental bridge consists of two dental crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) on each side of the dental bridge and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

Benefits of Dental Bridges

Traditional dental bridge implants make a real difference in the lives of our patients. Here are just some of the benefits that they offer:

  • Improved Self-Esteem and a New Smile | Your smile is one of your most valuable assets. People notice your teeth in every social setting, and they affect what your friends and associates think about you. Dental bridges are made to look like your original teeth, and they can play a powerful role in restoring your confidence.
  • Support of Your Natural Teeth | Your teeth rely on the others around them in order to maintain your positioning. A dental bridge will keep your other teeth aligned by preventing them from shifting or becoming crooked.

Taking Care Of Your Dental Bridge

Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years, however they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear. Despite this, there are steps that you can take to maintain your dental bridge and get the most out of it.

  • Brush and floss daily. Even though implants are a replacement they still need to be taken care of. Proper oral hygiene helps to remove the buildup of plaque and is crucial to preventing gum disease.
  • Avoid chewing on ice or hard candy. We know that it’s tempting to want to do this, but when you chew on hard substances, you can comprise the strength of your bridge
  • Use fluoride rinse to maintain your gum line. Healthy gums go a long way towards supporting the function of your new teeth

After the procedure our office will give you additional education to help ensure a fully functioning and lasting bridge.

I Want To Have My Smile Back. What Steps Should I Take?

We strive to always provide life transforming services. If you live or work in the Elgin, Bartlett, and St. Charles, IL, area and have missing or damaged teeth, contact David Rice, DDS in Elgin today.

After an examination, he can give you the options that will fit your specific situation. Whether it be a tooth crown, a dental bridge fixed with dental crowns, dental implants, or another option, Dr. Rice can help restore health and beauty to your smile.

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