Crowns, Bridges, and Implants

Crowns are essential in repairing broken teeth by strengthening and help preventing further degeneration of the underlying tooth.  Bridges are one solution for placing a prosthetic tooth or teeth in gaps (missing teeth) between two or more natural teeth.  Implants are another solution for replacing missing teeth with prosthetic teeth. Crowns The two most common types of crowns are porcelain and ceramic.  Both are able to be matched with your natural color of your teeth and on-lookers should not be able to tell the difference between your natural teeth and your tooth that has a crown (cap) on it.  Typically the crown procedure requires the damaged tooth to be drilled down, built up and prepped, impressions taken so that your crown can be molded to fit seamlessly with your other teeth, and a temporary crown seated (placed) while your permanent crown is being manufactured.  Once your permanent crown has been manufactured, the temporary will be removed and your permanent crown will be seated and adjusted for optimal placement.  Like most things, dental restorations do not last forever.  Despite this, with proper care, your crown should have a strong life span.  A large determinate of the life span of your crown is the care that is used to maintain the crown, whether you smoke, and certain medications you may be taking..  Proper cleaning, proper flossing, and regular attendance in your 6 month hygiene check ups go along way in the preservation of your crown.  Most dental benefit plans allow for a crown to be replaced after every 5 years. There are several reasons why a crown may be recommended for treatment.  Dr. Pulido believes in the least invasive treatment possible in hopes of retaining as much natural tooth elements as possible.  This means that he will generally recommend attempting a crown in hopes of saving your natural tooth before having to extract and use an implant to restore your teeth.  An endodontically (root canal) treated tooth will typically need a crown; the crown strengthens the tooth in hopes of preventing the likelihood of future fracturing of the tooth and provide an improved seal to prevent future infection of the root canal.  Other reasons for needing a crown include: to repair a cavity that is so vast that there is not enough tooth structure remaining for a filling to effectively work, to strengthen a tooth in hopes of preventing future fracturing and chipping, to repair a fractured tooth, to correct poorly shaped and discolored teeth, placed on an implant, and placed on a bridge. Bridges When you have a gap in your teeth due to missing teeth, typically the most common solution is a bridge between the two natural teeth on either side of the gap.  The two natural teeth will be reduced in order to accommodate the material needed for the bridge.  The bridge consists of crowns on the abutments (the two natural teeth) and pontics (replacement teeth) are attached to the crowns to form the bridge.  Like crowns, bridges are cemented to your teeth and are not removable. When there is a gap due to a missing tooth, it is important to have some form of restoration procedure performed to resolve the gap, because your bite will eventually be moved out of alignment when the teeth adjacent to the gap began to move into the empty space, which in turn could potentially lead to future disorders.  Implants When there is not enough natural tooth remaining for a buildup and a simple crown or if the patient would like an alternative to a bridge in replacing a missing tooth, implants are an option.  Dental implants (endosseous implants) are used to surgically root a prosthesis to the jaw bone.  This procedure requires multiple visits to complete.  During the first appointment, Dr. Pulido will extract the damaged tooth and then prepare the area for the bone graft and implant post.  Once the space is prepared, Dr. Pulido will place the bone graft and implant.  After enough time for the implant to take hold and your gums to heal, an abutment and your prosthesis (typically a crown) will be placed.  Implants are not for everyone, and there are no guarantees the implant and bone graft will bond with the jaw bone.  Success or failure is largely determined by a patients health and any kind of medication or drugs they may be taking.
Mike Pulido, D.D.S. | 8590 Farmington Blvd.; Ste. 5 | Germantown, TN 38139 | Tel: (901) 756-0688 | Fax: (901) 756-0838 ©2015 Mike Pulido, D.D.S.
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