When the natural structure of a tooth has been extensively damaged or compromised due to dental decay, damaged fillings, root canals, or habitual clenching or grinding of the teeth, a dental filling may not be adequate for its repair. In such cases, dental crowns, also commonly referred to as caps, can be placed to effectively restore the natural integrity, function and appearance of the affected tooth.
When teeth are missing, a series of changes that can impact your overall dental health and jaw function may begin to develop. The adjacent teeth may start to drift or tilt into the space, and teeth in the opposing jaw may start to shift toward the area of the missing tooth. It is therefore important to replace either the single tooth or multiple teeth that are missing from this area. One of the best options to prevent the consequences of shifting teeth and to restore full function to a small edentulous section in the mouth is a dental bridge.A dental bridge replaces the missing teeth with artificial teeth called “pontics,” and is supported on the ends by prepared natural teeth. Once fabricated and fitted a dental bridge will be permanently “fixed,” or cemented into place. Like crowns, bridges can be made of either porcelain baked on to a metal substrate or many of the new Zirconia Ceramic materials that have been developed.
A tooth crown or fixed bridge is used to encase and protect a damaged tooth. Often the teeth must be prepared by removing a portion of the enamel and sometimes even the center of the tooth. If the decay has spread too far, endodontic surgery, or a root canal, must be performed. However, if the level of decay or damage is not too advanced, a dental crown can be placed after simply reducing the surface of the tooth an appropriate amount. Once the tooth is prepared, Dr. Korori will create a model of the prepared tooth. From the model, a mold is made to form your dental crown. Because every mouth is different, every tooth crown is different and created specifically to fit correctly over the tooth it will cover. If the tooth is missing or must be removed because the damage is too extensive, a dental implant may work in place of the tooth to support your dental crown.
Your dental crown is created with a laboratory from the mold of your prepared tooth and is prefabricated to fit correctly over the prepared tooth. It will be shaped much like the tooth it is replacing. A Vita shade will be selected to match the surrounding teeth as well. PFM dental crowns are made of metal covered by another porcelain material, a thin layer of metal is formed around the mold of the prepared tooth and the porcelain is built up over it to create the rest of the dental crown. Our Full Zirconia dental crowns exclude that thin layer of metal, for an appealing appearance, especially along the gum line, offers superior strength and durability. Our Zirconia dental crowns are at least three times stronger than the standard PFM dental crown and can withstand wear and tear without chipping; tolerating extreme chewing and bruxism.
Once your dental crown is created, it is fit over the prepared tooth before being adhered with a strong dental fixative. During this step, the dental crown often must be polished or slightly reshaped to ensure the best possible fit. Not only must your crown fit between the teeth on either side, it also must contact the tooth or teeth on the opposing jaw correctly to allow for chewing and speaking. Once the dental crown is fit correctly, it will be adhered to the prepared tooth. The fixative is then cured, and if necessary, your dental crown is polished.