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Cosmetic Dentistry


Crowns & Bridges


Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. The larger the hole made by a cavity that has to be treated, the more likely a crown will be needed. Even after a filling is put in a large cavity, a tooth is more likely to break. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body. Teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. Crowns ride over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Crowns prevent this, as well as making for a nice smile.

It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. In the first, any decay is removed from the tooth and it is shaped to accept the crown. Then an impression is made of the tooth for use in fabricating a crown. Between the two visits, the crown is made, usually of high-strength porcelain over gold alloy, all ceramic material, or gold. During this time a temporary crown is worn. In the second visit, this temporary is removed. Then the permanent crown is adjusted as needed and then cemented in place.


Bridges are an option for filling a space created by a missing tooth. It is formed to look like the missing tooth and takes the tooth’s place in the mouth. The sides of the bridge use the two surrounding teeth for support, hence the name.

A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. A bridge can be composed of gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy or all ceramic material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and esthetics.

It is important that a missing tooth is replaced as soon as possible for several reasons:

  • icon If not treated, the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward. This kicks off a negative chain reaction.
  • icon As the surrounding teeth continue to fall in toward the gap, the bite changes in response to pressure.
  • icon This can eventually create problems for the entire jaw, for example, TMJ.
  • icon The surrounding teeth deteriorate and it’s a matter of time before they, too, are lost.
  • icon Gum disease becomes a serious problem, with the difficulty of treatment increasing as neglect continues.