The most conservative approach when attempting to replace a missing tooth is a bonded bridge. It is also often referred to as a Marilyn Bridge. An impression of the area is taken and a new tooth referred to as a pontic is formed. Attached to the pontic on either side are abutments or â€œwingsâ€ that will support the pontic. The most common type of Marilyn Bridge uses abutments that are cemented on the backside of the adjoining teeth and hold the pontic in place where the missing tooth used to be. The adjacent teeth may need to be slightly modified to accept the â€œwingsâ€ of the pontic. The advantage of this type of procedure is that you are not having to put full coverage crowns on the adjoining teeth.
If your smile is in need of a makeover, crowns can provide predictable results. Crowns can give an unattractive tooth back its beautiful shape and color. For smaller or worn down teeth, a crown can restore the natural size of the old tooth. A crown can replace either part of or the tooth's entire structure. For procedures requiring only the areas visible from the outside, a veneer may be an alternative option.
A crown is sometimes termed a "cap" or "jacket." A crown will restore a large filling or a cracked tooth to its original size, shape and tooth color. A crown may be recommended after root canal therapy has been completed, as the tooth tends to become brittle and is more likely to fracture. A crown can strengthen and protect the remaining tooth structure and improves the appearance of your teeth. With the advances in technology, we now have the ability to make ceramic crowns with no metal.
To place a crown, your dentist must reduce 1-2 mm of the tooth to make room for it. Your dentist will then use a piece of thread or cord or use a laser to push the gum down around the tooth, to take an impression of the tooth. The impressions are sent to the lab where the crown is made. During that time, you will have a temporary crown. These crowns are usually made of plastic and are made in your dentist's office on the day of your visit. They are not meant to last. If a temporary crown is left in the mouth, the cement eventually washes out and the tooth can decay. At a second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and test the permanent one. Sometimes crowns need additional polishing, glaze or some other adjustment before they are placed. Once the crown is ready, it's cemented to your tooth.
An alternative to an implant is a fixed bridge. With this option it is necessary to grind down the teeth adjacent to the space in order to have caps fit onto the ground down teeth. The caps hold a fake replacement tooth in the middle. With this approach, the ground down teeth are more subject to dental decay and root canals. Furthermore, the teeth are connected together making daily hygiene more challenging. Unlike an implant, the bridge offers no additional biting support.
An inlay or onlay is a method of repairing a tooth that is somewhere between a filling and a crown. They are used when the tooth is unable to support a filling, but is not damaged to the point that it needs a crown. An inlay is much like a filling but is inserted into the ridges (cusps) of the chewing surface. An onlay is a little more extensive than an inlay and covers multiple cusps of the tooth. Inlays and onlays are commonly made with ceramic or composite materials but can also be made of gold. They are very durable and can last a long time depending on the material used and how well the patient takes care of them with regular brushing, flossing and visits to the dentist.
Dr. Hunt, your Rocky River crown dentist will explain your crown options and answer your questions. There are three basic types of crowns:
1) Porcelain outer surface with a metal base crown.
2) Pure porcelain or composite crown.
3) All metal crown, which is usually gold. They all differ in durability, strength, appearance and cost. Select a crown below to learn more about it.
There are four different choices that you have when it comes to filling a cavity.
1. Composite Fillings - Natural tooth colored filling, bonds to the tooth to provide added security.
2. Silver Fillings - Inexpensive and strong amalgam based filling.
3. Gold Fillings - More attractive than silver and provide for a better fit.
4. Porcelain Fillings - Also called inlays; the most attractive and durable of the tooth colored choices.