Dental Crowns & Bridges

Dentals Crowns & Bridges Coral Gables, Florida

If you have one or more missing tooth, a broken tooth, Discolored Tooth or a set of continuous teeth that are severely decayed and a dental filling cannot repair the damage. Then one of the best restorations options for you might be dental Crowns or dental Bridges.

Dr. Peggy Alvarez and our skilled dental team can create and place your custom crown/Bridge in just two visits to our office. Making your crown/bridge revitalize your oral health and the beauty of your smile.

Overview of Dental Crowns & Bridges

Bridges and crowns are fixed prosthetic devices that are cemented onto existing teeth or implants by a dentist or prosthodontist. Crowns are used most commonly to entirely cover or "cap" a damaged tooth or cover an implant. Bridges are commonly used to cover a space if you’re missing one or more teeth. They are cemented to natural teeth or implants surrounding the space where the tooth once stood.

In addition to strengthening a damaged tooth, bridges and crowns can be used to improve a tooth’s appearance, shape, alignment and dental occlusion (bite). Gaps left by missing teeth can cause the remaining teeth to shift, which can result in a bad bite. Bridges and crowns help prevent this from happening.

What is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown, sometimes known as dental cap, is a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity threatens the ongoing health of a tooth. They are typically bonded to the tooth using a dental cement. The Crown can restore the tooth to its natural shape, color, size and function. It will protect the tooth as well as provide an improvement in the appearance.

There are several types of crowns that can be used, including:

  • Stainless steel crowns are prefabricated crowns that are used on permanent teeth primarily as a temporary measure.
  • Metals used in crowns include alloys that have a high content of gold or platinum, or base-metal alloys (for example, cobalt- chromium and nickel-chromium alloys).
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be color matched to your adjacent teeth (unlike the metallic crowns).
  • All-resin dental crowns are less expensive than other crown types. However, they wear down over time and are more prone to fracturesthan porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. 
  • All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide better natural color match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies.
  • Temporary versus permanent. Temporary crowns can be made in your dentist's office, whereas most permanent crowns are made in a dental laboratory.

Steps Involved For The Dental Crown Treatment

First visit: Examining and preparing the tooth

At the first visit in preparation for a crown, your dentist may take a few X-rays to check the roots of the tooth receiving the crown and surrounding bone. If the tooth has extensive decay or if there is a risk of infection or injury to the tooth's pulp, a root canal treatment may first be performed.

Before the process of making a crown begins, your dentist will anesthetize (numb) the tooth and the gum tissue around the tooth. Next, the tooth receiving the crown is filed down along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown. The amount removed depends on the type of crown used. If, on the other hand, a large area of the tooth is missing (due to decay or damage), your dentist will use filling material to "build up" the tooth to support the crown.

After reshaping the tooth, your dentist typically will use a paste or putty to make an impression of the tooth to receive the crown. Sometimes, though, impressions are made with a digital scanner. Impressions of the teeth above and below the tooth to receive the dental crown will also be made to make sure that the crown will not affect your bite.

The impressions or scans are sent to a dental lab where the crown will be manufactured. The crown is usually returned to your dentist's office in two to three weeks. If the crown is made of porcelain, your dentist will also select the shade that most closely matches the color of the neighboring teeth. During this first office visit your dentist will make a temporary crown to cover and protect the prepared tooth while the crown is being made. Temporary crowns usually are made of acrylic and are held in place using a temporary cement.

Second visit: Receiving the permanent dental crown

At the second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and check the fit and color of the permanent crown. If everything is acceptable, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and the new crown is permanently cemented in place.

What is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a fixed dental prosthesis used to replace one or several missing teeth by permanently joining an artificial tooth to adjacent teeth or dental implants. A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap -- these two or more anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth -- and a false tooth/teeth in between. These false teeth are called pontics and can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants.

Types of Dental Bridges:

  • Traditional bridges involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic in between.
  • Cantilever bridges are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. This is not very common any more and is not recommended in the back of the mouth where it can put too much force on other teeth and damage them.
  • Maryland bonded bridges (also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge) are made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal or porcelain framework.

Steps Involved For The Dental Bridge Treatment

The process of a dental Bridge is the same as for a Crown except that for bridges there are more than one tooth involved in the process. And the overall summarize process its as follow:

During the first visit for getting a dental bridge, the abutment teeth are prepared. Preparation involves recontouring these teeth by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Next, impressions of the teeth are made, which serve as a model from which the bridge, pontic, and crowns will be made by a dental lab. Your dentist will make a temporary bridge to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the bridge is being made.

During the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed and the new porcelain or metal bridge will be checked and adjusted, as necessary, to achieve a proper fit. Multiple visits may be required to check the fit of the metal framework and bite. This is dependent on each individual's case. If the dental bridge is a fixed bridge, your dentist may temporarily cement it in place for a couple of weeks to make sure it is fitting properly. After a couple weeks, the bridge is cemented into place.

What To Expect From A Dental Crown & Bridge

Preparing a tooth for a crown usually requires two visits to the dentist -- the first step involves examining and preparing the tooth, the second visit involves placement of the permanent crown.

Oral Care Tips For Bridges & Crowns

While crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, they do sometimes come loose or fall out. The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown is to practice good oral hygiene.

  • Keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing daily.
  • See your dentist or hygienist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.
  • To prevent damage to your new crown or bridge, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects.