Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break or is too broken to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. Even after a filling is put in a large cavity, a tooth is more likely to break. The larger the hole that has to be treated, the more likely a crown will be needed.
A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body and teeth are subjected to the tremendous pressures the muscles exert when we chew and function. Crowns ride over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against fracture. Crowns prevent this, as well as improving the shape and appearance of the tooth or teeth.
In some instances, interproximal decay (cavities that form on surfaces between the teeth) occurs, which requires removal of a significant amount of healthy tooth structure to access the problem areas. When this tooth structure is removed, some patients might require crowns to cover and replace the decayed tooth surface.
It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown:
Any decay is removed from the tooth and it is shaped to accept the crown. An impression is then made of the tooth to fabricate the crown.
The crown is made, usually of high-strength porcelain over gold alloy, all ceramic material, gold, and extremely strong, tooth colored crystal structures known as zirconia or E-max. During this time a temporary crown is worn.
In the second visit, this temporary is removed. The permanent crown is adjusted to fit the bite and the contact with the teeth on each side of it. The underlying tooth is scrubbed with cleansers, disinfectants, and desensitizing liquids, and then the crown is cemented into place.
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that is matched to the color of the tooth, to the front of the tooth. This is done to repair damage caused by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for cosmetic purposes.
First, the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding and hold it. A gel is applied to micro etch the tooth surface, and an adhesive agent is applied so the material adheres to the tooth surface. Then the material itself is placed on the tooth and hardened with intense light. The composite resin material is shaped and polished to get a lustrous finish as a last step.
Bridgework is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. The sides of a bridge use the two surrounding teeth for support, hence the name.
Bridgework is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all tooth-colored ceramic material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and aesthetics.
A missing tooth must be replaced as soon as possible.
If not treated, the teeth surrounding the gap can begin to shift or tip inward. This creates additional stress on the teeth, muscles, and jaw joints. If nothing is done to replace the missing teeth, the force and stress can cause breakdown of the remaining teeth, muscles, and jaw.
Teeth can break, and supportive bone can be damaged, resulting in tooth loss. Muscles can become hyperactive cause spasms, headaches, jaw pain, and even damage to the jaw joint itself.
Bone resorption is another common complication of tooth removal—one which makes it challenging to replace the teeth aesthetically. Fortunately, dentistry has been at the forefront of development in bone science and offers several common techniques to avoid bone resorption and reconstruct resorption defects.
Dental Implants are one option to replace a missing tooth or teeth. In this procedure, a small titanium shaft replaces the root of the missing tooth. It is surgically implanted into the bone and allowed to heal over a period of four to six months. The bone grows around it forming a tight connection, which also slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing.
Once the implant has healed, usually within four to six months, the dentist works to attach the replacement tooth onto the top of the shaft. This permanent solution has some advantages over bridgework, as it does not need to use the surrounding teeth for support. Implants can also be used as support for an implant bridge or even a full or partial removable denture.
An implant bridge is an alternative to partial dentures, and has several advantages:
- There is no adjustment period for the patient to get used to wearing the partial denture.
- Once the work is done, the patient only feels teeth, not the metal supports of the partial denture in the mouth.
- The implants slow the bone loss that usually occurs when teeth are missing.
- They don’t have to be taken out for cleaning.
Implant-supported dentures are an excellent way to make loose or ill-fitting dentures more stable. They allow the patient to chew and function more comfortably. In this process, a titanium shaft is placed into the bone and allowed to heal.
After healing, attachments are placed onto the titanium shaft and counter attachments are placed into the denture. The denture then snaps into the implants and is much more stable than a traditional denture. Also, the implants help maintain the bone levels around them, so there is less bone loss in the mouth when implants are present.
No one enjoys losing their natural teeth, but with dentures, you can regain your smile and some of the chewing function of your natural teeth. The entire mouth is examined, and we determine which teeth will have to be removed and which will remain. A treatment plan is then developed outlining the steps to replace or repair the teeth.
There are different types of dentures, but they all share a common function. They replace teeth that have become loose or have been lost due to bone loss, decay, or traumatic injury.
Dentures that clip to any remaining teeth for support. Partial dentures have a metal and plastic base for strength. Because they clip to natural teeth, they can be made to fit very tightly.
Full or Complete Dentures
These are dentures that replace all the teeth in the upper or lower jaw. They have a thick plastic base for strength and look and function similar to natural teeth.
If all the lower teeth are missing or if they need to be removed and replaced with a complete lower denture, implants are very helpful in making the denture more stable when chewing and talking.
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430 S. Dayton St.
Sandwich, IL 60548
|Monday||8:00 am – 7:00 pm|
|Tuesday||8:00 am – 7:00 pm|
|Wednesday||8:00 am – 6:00 pm|
|Thursday||8:00 am – 5:00 pm|
|Friday||8:00 am – 4:00 pm|