Crowns & Bridgework

Dental Crowns and Bridgework.Dentistry is an art as well as a science; dental crowns offer a perfect example of this. A dental crown or “cap” is a covering that fits over a damaged, decayed or unattractive tooth. It can even replace a tooth entirely as part of dental bridgework.

A crown completely covers a tooth above the gum line. This is in contrast to a dental veneer, which only covers a tooth's front surface and needs natural tooth structure to support it. Therefore, if a tooth is missing a significant amount of structure above the gum line, a crown would be the restoration of choice.

Crowns strengthen damaged teeth, allowing them to function normally again. When crafted from today's high-tech porcelains (dental ceramics), crowns are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. They can even be designed to improve upon a tooth's original appearance.

There are other materials besides porcelain that we can use to make dental crowns, depending on what qualities are most important. For durability, cast gold can't be beat. However, this is not always the most aesthetic choice — especially towards the front of the mouth. Other possibilities include porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns (PFM), which have a metal interior for strength and a porcelain exterior for a more natural appearance, and all-porcelain crowns with zirconia, representing the strongest ceramic. We would be happy to discuss the pros and cons of these various options with you.

Crowning or Capping a Tooth

Dental Crowns - Step by Step.Crowning or capping a tooth will usually take two to three visits. At the first visit, your tooth is prepared to receive its new crown. First, it is shaped to fit inside the new covering. This will involve some drilling to give the tooth a uniform shape. The tooth and the surrounding area will be numbed beforehand. If there is very little tooth structure left to begin with, the tooth may have to be built up with filling material, rather than filed down, to support the crown.

After the tooth is prepared, impressions of your teeth are taken, either digitally or with reliable, putty-like impression materials, and sent to the dental laboratory. There, the impressions will be used to make models of your teeth for the creation of a crown. The models will serve as guides to the highly skilled lab technicians, who will ensure that your new crown is designed to enhance your smile and function well within your bite.

Before you leave the office, a temporary crown will be attached to your tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is ready. At the second visit, your permanent crown will be attached to your tooth with either a resin that hardens when exposed to a special light source, or a type of permanent cement.

Creating a Bridge

Dental Bridgework - Step by Step.Crowns can also be used to create a lifelike replacement for a missing tooth. This is done with bridgework, which spans the space of the missing tooth and requires at least three crowns. Two of those crowns will be placed over healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth; these healthy teeth are referred to as abutment teeth. The two crowned abutment teeth become supports for a third crown placed in between them; that third crown is referred to as a pontic. If more than one tooth is missing, more crowns will be needed to bridge the gap in between the abutment teeth.

The number of abutment teeth necessary to replace missing teeth is influenced by the number of missing teeth, the size and length of the abutment tooth roots, the amount of bone support each abutment tooth has, as well as where in the mouth the missing tooth is located. For example, if you have three missing teeth, four abutment teeth may be necessary, thereby creating a seven-tooth bridge. Engineering and designing of the bridge requires an understanding of how to replace teeth, as well as the biology of the supporting gum and bone tissue.

Caring for Your Crowns & Bridgework

Crowns and bridgework require the same conscientious care as your natural teeth. Be sure to brush and floss between all of your teeth — restored and natural — every day to reduce the buildup of dental plaque. When you have crowns, it is even more important to maintain your regular schedule of cleanings at the dental office. Avoid using your teeth as tools (to open packages, for example). If you have a grinding habit, wearing a nightguard would be a good idea to protect your teeth and your investment.

Related Articles

Crowns and Veneers - Dear Doctor Magazine

Porcelain Crowns & Veneers Dear Doctor magazine examines two innovative strategies for improving your smile. In many instances, these two restorative techniques can produce nearly identical aesthetic results, even though they are designed differently for handling different structural problems... Read Article

Crowns - Dear Doctor Magazine

Value Of Quality Care Are all crowns created equal? And why are some crowns more expensive than others? Crown fabrication costs depend upon the materials used and the time needed to create them, among other factors. Dear Doctor magazine examines these variables... Read Article

Bridgework - Dear Doctor Magazine

Fixed vs. Removable Bridgework For those patients who have lost all their teeth, but have not lost significant bone, a fixed bridge (permanent non-removable teeth) may be the treatment of choice. For those who have severe bone loss, an implant-supported overdenture offers significant advantages... Read Article

Our Location

Find us on the map

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

8:00 am-6:30 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-5:30 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

8:00am - 12:00pm (By Appointment Only)

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

What Our Clients Say About Us

  • "I love all the ladies at the reception, my hygienist and Dr. Mitera."
    Snezana
  • "I always have a very positive experience. The staff is so nice and helpful. I would recommend this office to anyone."
    Judy
  • "Always a pleasant experience!! Professional, and concerned about comfort always ..."
    Beth
  • "Staff is wonderful and assisted very well to my teeth problems. As new patient I am hoping I am hoping to continue to get great care."
    Jeffrey
  • "Excellent"
    Camilla
  • "Everything went well! I was called in because there was an available slot open. So the rescheduling worked out well for all."
    Leonard
  • "Front office is always warm and welcoming. Erin is thorough and gentle, always professional."
    Claudia
  • "Always efficient and pleasant."
    Kathleen
  • "Always very friendly and professional staff, and I am very happy with the excellent dental care I receive."
    Christine
  • "Everyone is so friendly! The dentist took his time and was very patient with me!!"
    Julie
  • "Everyone is very professional, from the front desk to the hygienist. Very clean and pleasant environment. It was my first visit with the new hygienist, she was great, pleasant and very efficient."
    Carol
  • "I have been a patient for >30 years. Dr. Mitera is extremely gentle, and the rapport he has with his dental assistants/techs is terrific. The office personnel have been there for >20 years and are personable and professional."
    Kimberly
  • "Best Dental practice I've ever experienced. I've recommended it to everyone I know. Love the staff and the care I receive!! Thank you, Dr. Young!"
    Cori
  • "This was my first visit and I was very pleased with Dr. Roberts and her staff. Dr. Roberts is friendly but yet professional during my examination. I felt very comfortable and at ease by her and the staff I am so glad to be a patient and look forward to future appointments."
    Mary
  • "Clean and efficient. Professional yet personal. Everyone I've met seems to enjoy being there and helping their patients. Very happy to be able to receive my dental care at Ludlow Family Dentistry."
    David
  • "Our family continues to get a great care and service at Ludlow Family Dentistry. The doctors and entire staff are professional, thoughtful and caring."
    Stephen
  • "Professional, courteous service with a smile!"
    Stanley
  • "I have always felt (and even more so since the COVID pandemic) that the facility is meticulously clean and that Dr. Roberts and my hygienist, Chris have my safety and health foremost in their efforts. Thank you, all!"
    Janvier
  • "Always a pleasure! Professional, personal, quality work all-around. Thank You all!"
    Robert
  • "Ludlow Family Dentistry always make me fell welcome and comfortable. I trust their caring, friendly, and highly skilled staff for my dental needs. I wholeheartedly recommend this place."
    Cathy