Here at Richard Whipple, DDS in Tigard, OR we want all of our patients to be happy with their smile, even if they have had some oral health issues in the past. If you have experienced an oral health issue that has left you with some tooth loss, or teeth that are no longer up to the task of helping you to chew your food, we can help. Today, the art of restoring smiles with restorative dental options like crowns and bridges has come a long way from where it was even ten years ago. Dental crowns do a fabulous job of protecting your natural teeth, and dental bridges can replace anywhere from one to three consecutive missing teeth.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a restoration that is made to fit over the top of your natural tooth. It is permanently attached to your natural tooth and helps you to eat and speak as you did before your tooth became unable to perform it’s duties. Crowns can be made from a wide variety of material and usually last ten to twenty-five years depending on oral health.
Reasons You May Need a Crown
Dental crowns can be used to save teeth that have suffered from serious decay or trauma. We also use dental crowns to finish root canal procedures.
What is a Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges differ from dental crowns in that they are used to replace missing teeth. Dental bridges are made to span the gap between your healthy teeth and any teeth that you are missing. Bridges require two healthy teeth to act as abutments that we will permanently modify to anchor the two ends of the bridge. The bridge will look an act just like your real teeth. Dental bridges can also be anchored using dental implants, which is usually a better option from a long-term oral health perspective. Tooth loss is the main reason you would opt for a dental bridge.
Crowns & Bridges Can Be Made Of:
Crowns and bridges can be made of a wide variety of materials, each with their unique properties and advantages. Some materials are stronger and less aesthetically pleasing, making them a far better option for molars and teeth that aren’t prominently featured in the smile. Other materials are less durable but much better at looking great, making them an obvious choice for restoring a tooth that is prominently featured in the smile.
Porcelain is one of the very best looking materials that we can use to restore a tooth because it looks just like a real tooth when it is finished. The way light is reflected in a porcelain dental restoration is almost identical to how light is reflected on the enamel of your teeth. Porcelain also resists staining better than any other dental restoration material. Porcelain is not the strongest option so we usually only use it to restore teeth that are featured prominently in the smile.
There are a wide variety of different ceramic restoration options available on the market today, all of them do a great job of looking very similar to a real tooth. Ceramic restoration options are durable, long-lasting, and have the aesthetic ability to mimic natural teeth very closely. Ceramic options can replace most teeth in the mouth with a convincing restoration.
Gold is still one of the very best dental restoration options available on the market because of how well it mimics the feel of your natural teeth. Gold is also one of the longest lasting dental restoration options available today.
Metal and Fused to Metal
Metal restorations are not a very popular option because they stick out like sore thumbs in the smile. We do offer several different options that are fused to metal. Ceramic fused to metal and porcelain fused to metal restoration options do a great job of combining the strength and longevity of metal dental restorations with the aesthetic qualities of bother porcelain and ceramic.
Dental Crown Placement Procedure
Having a dental crown placed usually requires at least two trips to our office to complete. First, we will take an impression of your teeth to ensure our dental lab can make a perfect replica of your natural tooth. We will then prepare your tooth to receive the crown by removing the outer layer of enamel from the tooth that will receive the crown. Once a tooth has been prepped to receive a crown or bridge, it will always need restoration on top of it to be of any use. Once the tooth has been altered to receive the dental crown, we will fit your tooth with a temporary crown using a temporary dental adhesive. This temporary crown will keep your tooth safe and help you to eat and speak while you wait for the permanent crown to be completed by our dental lab.
Once the permanent crown has been completed and shipped to us, it will be time to return to our office where we will remove the temporary crown and place the permanent one. We will make sure that the crown fits into your bite properly and that you feel comfortable closing your mouth.
Dental Bridge Placement Procedure
Having a dental bridge placed is very similar to having a crown placed. Most of the steps that are mentioned above in the dental crown placement procedure section are applied in the placement of a dental bridge. The main difference between the two procedures is dental bridges usually require us to permanently alter two teeth, which will act as the abutment, or anchor teeth. As mentioned above, dental implants can act as the abutments for a dental bridge.
Dental implants can help to give your mouth an important health boost in the form of bone loss prevention in the jaw. When teeth are lost and not replaced the bone in your jaw will begin to resorb – dental implants can help to mitigate this process and restore health to your jaw.