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Pro Active Dental Studio

Dental Crown Procedure and Treatment

About ProActive DentalWhat is a dental crown procedure? How much does a dental crown cost? Find out what Proactive Dental Studio in Surrey BC can do: from a cerec crown, dental bridge repair to a dental bridge procedure.

What are crowns?
A crown is a restoration that covers or "caps" a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and strength. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is broken and fillings won't solve the problem. If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to seal the cracks so the damage doesn't get worse. Crowns are also used to attach bridges, and cover badly shaped or discoloured teeth (often through a Cerec crown restoration).

How is a crown placed?
To prepare a fractured or decayed tooth for a crown, the weak or decayed tooth matter is drilled away until a post-like structure remains. If the remaining tooth structure is too weak to support a crown, an artificial "post and core" must first be placed. In the traditional method, an impression of the teeth and gums is then made and sent to an outside laboratory for the crown to be fabricated. The dentist would make you a "temporary crown" which you would wear for 1.5 to 2 weeks until your final crown was fabricated and seated.

At Proactive Dental Studio, the use of Cerec 3 technology means that our patients benefit from a much improved technology. Once the tooth is prepared, a camera sends a digital image of the preparation to a computer screen where our dentists can design the restoration. When this is complete, we send the information to a milling chamber which fabricates your custom-colour and custom-fit crown in about 10 minutes. (More on Cerec Restorations technology)

Will it look natural?
Yes. Our main goal is to create crowns that look like natural teeth. To achieve a certain look, a number of factors are considered, such as colour, bite, shape, and length of your natural teeth. Any one of these factors alone can affect appearance. If you have a certain cosmetic look in mind for your Cerec crown, discuss it with us at your initial visit. When the procedure is complete, your teeth will not only be stronger, but they will be more attractive.

Why crowns and not veneers?
Crowns require more tooth structure removal therefore they cover more of the tooth than veneers. Crowns are stationary and are customarily indicated for teeth that have sustained significant structural damage, or to replace missing teeth. Crowns may be placed on natural teeth or dental implants. Veneers are generally recommended where the appearance of the tooth is the primary concern, not the structure of the tooth.

How should I take care of my crowns?
To prevent damaging or fracturing the crowns, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects. You also want to avoid grinding your teeth. Besides visiting your dentist, and brushing daily, cleaning between your teeth is vital with crowns. Floss or interdental cleaners (specially shaped brushes and sticks) are important tools to remove plaque from the crown area where gum meets the tooth. Plaque in that area can cause dental decay and gum disease.

We always recommend that our patients who are having major restorative work done (implants, crowns, veneers, bridges) do a course of bleaching prior to having the work done. If the restorative work is matched to the yellow or grey teeth, there is no way to change the colour.

Fixed Bridges: Dental Bridge Procedure

What is a bridge? A bridge is a dental appliance that replaces one or more natural missing teeth, thereby "bridging" the space between two teeth. Fixed bridges are cemented into place on the "abutment" teeth - the neighbouring teeth on either side of the space, or "span." Unlike removable partial dentures, fixed bridges cannot be taken out of the mouth by the patient.

A fixed bridge is a device that typically consists of three units - a pontic(a false tooth) fused between two crowns that are cemented onto the abutment teeth.

Who should get a bridge?
If you are missing any teeth and are committed to maintaining good oral hygiene practices, you may be a good candidate for a bridge. A bridge is a great choice to fill a space in the mouth left by missing teeth. If left unfilled, this space can cause the surrounding teeth to move out of position and can cause teeth and gums to become more susceptible to tooth decay, and gum disease that can cause further tooth loss. Fixed bridges not only enhance the appearance of your smile, but they also improve your chewing ability and speech. They can also safeguard you appearance by preventing the collapse of your facial features that can cause premature wrinkles and age lines.

What type of bridges are there?
Besides traditional bridges, another popular design is the resin bonded or "Maryland" bridge, primarily used for the front teeth. This is usually the most economical choice when the abutment teeth are healthy and don't contain large fillings. The pontic is fused to metal that can be bonded to the abutment teeth with a resin cement and hidden from view, reducing the amount of preparation on the adjacent teeth.

A cantilever bridge may be used if there are teeth on only one side of the span. This involves anchoring the pontic to one side over one or more natural, adjacent teeth. If there are no adjacent teeth to act as anchors, we may recommend an implant - a metal post that is surgically imbedded into the bone, and is capped with a crown as an abutment. In some cases where the span is large, we may recommend an implant supported prosthesis.

What are the dental bridge procedures involved?
For a traditional fixed bridge, the first appointment consists of the dentist reducing the adjacent abutment teeth that will act as anchors. Impressions are made, from which a metal framework, including the pontic, is created and covered in porcelain. We can even make bridges where the framework is made of zirconia (a white material) and then covered in porcelain (for the best esthetic results). By the second appointment, the final bridge is fitted over the teeth. The total treatment time is usually two weeks, depending on the type of bridge.

We always recommend that our patients who are having major restorative work done (implants, crowns, veneers, bridges) do a course of bleaching prior to having the work done. If the restorative work is matched to the yellow or grey teeth, there is no way to change the colour after the work is completed.

How do I care for a bridge?
With a bridge, it is more important than ever to brush, floss and see your dentist regularly. Your dentist may also recommend using floss threaders that help remove bacteria from hard to reach spaces between the bridge and adjacent teeth and gums. You may need dental bridge repair work over time. However if you maintain optimal oral hygiene care, you can expect your fixed bridge to last 10 to 15 years and sometimes even longer.

Sources:
Robert Margolin, DDS, FAGD; "An Update on Conventional Fixed Bridges Part 1: Patient Assessment and Selection," by D.L. Gutteridge, et al., Dental Update, April 1994; Inlays, Crowns and Bridges, by Leslie C. Howe, et. al., Butterworth-Heinemaann Ltd., 1993; "Crown and Bridge Procedures: Success Begins with Home Care," GP, Dec. 1992; Change Your Smile, by Ronald E. Goldstein, DDS, Quintessence Publishing Co., Inc., 1988; "Fixed Bridges and Crowns," American Dental Association, 1985.

For more information on Dental Crown Procedures or Dental Bridge Procedures, contact Proactive Dental Studio offices in Surrey BC. We provide services to clients in the Greater Vancouver BC region.

 

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