At Sonoran Frost Dentistry we use modern technology to make your teeth look and feel just like your natural teeth do. Materials used for crowns at our practice are porcelain, zirconia, and porcelain fused to metal when extra strength is needed. Dr. Frost places crowns that seamlessly fit your smile and will last for many years. He will let you know what material he is planning to use and the reason. It is your mouth and your teeth so you are always given options.
Crowns, sometimes known as caps, are best used when large portions of the tooth are missing because of cavities, cracked teeth, or when teeth have had root canals. The outer shell of your tooth is trimmed away and is replaced by the crown once it is cemented onto your tooth. Since the crown covers your whole tooth, it is strong enough to build up missing portions of your tooth where a filling could break. In treating cracks, a crown covers the tooth and spreads out the force of chewing by surrounding the tooth and not allowing the crack to spread. Teeth that have been treated with root canals are more susceptible to cracking over time, so crowns are used as a preventive measure to protect your investment.
Crowns may take 2-3 appointments with a select few that may be completed in one appointment. For the sake of simplicity, we will assume a 2 appointment crown. The process is as follows:
- 1st Appointment – Decay is removed, the outer shell of the tooth is trimmed, an impression is taken and a temporary crown is made. It is temporarily cemented onto your tooth as a placeholder. The impression is then sent to a lab and a crown is made that meets certain parameters that Dr. Frost will set with the lab that are specific to your mouth.
- 2nd Appointment – Once we receive the crown from the lab, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is cemented and adjusted to perfectly fit your bite. Dr. Frost usually asks that you stay away from sticky foods for the rest of the day until the cement is completely set up.
Crowns can be used on top of an implant and can be linked together to form a bridge to replace missing teeth. Crowns may still have a cavity form on the tooth structure under them so it is advisable to clean it like your other teeth.
Bridges are used to replace a missing tooth/teeth that have at least one tooth on either side of the space. Bridges use teeth near the missing tooth site as anchors to add a “tooth” back into that spot. The outer shells of the neighboring teeth are trimmed and are replaced by the bridge. Bridges look and feel very natural and are a great solution for replacing missing teeth under the right circumstances.
Bridges may take 2-3 appointments. For the sake of simplicity, we will assume a 2 appointment bridge. The process is as follows:
- 1st Appointment – The teeth are numbed, decay is removed, the outer shells of the anchor teeth are trimmed, and an impression is taken. A temporary bridge is made and temporarily cemented onto your anchor teeth as a placeholder. The impression is then sent to a lab and a bridge is made that meets certain parameters that Dr. Frost will set with the lab that are specific to your mouth.
- 2nd Appointment – Once we receive the bridge from the lab, the temporary bridge is removed and the permanent bridge is cemented and adjusted to perfectly fit your bite. Dr. Frost usually asks that you stay away from sticky foods for the rest of the day until the cement is completely set up.
Dr. Frost always emphasizes to patients the need to clean around and floss under your bridge. If one of the teeth the bridge is anchored to gets a cavity, the whole bridge will be in jeopardy. You want to take extra good care of the teeth that are a part of your bridge.