Most dentistry looks like dentistry. Our goal is to provide dentistry that is undetectable. We replace existing crowns and fillings with restorations that look and feel like your natural teeth.
When teeth are damaged by cavities, wear or trauma, there is often insufficient remaining tooth structure to place a filling. These teeth can often be restored with crowns. The crown treatment procedure involves trimming the tooth around the outside including most or all of the enamel and some of the dentin. The shell of enamel which protects the tooth is then replaced by a hard and usually tooth colored material such as porcelain or tetrazirconia phosphate. Crowns are fabricated in a lab using impressions of the teeth, stone models and often CAD/CAM computer design and milling in order to create a sturdy, esthetic, accurate and predictable restoration which should last a decade or more. Crowns meet the teeth at the margin of the tooth preparation and are cemented on the teeth in a way which makes them unable to be removed. Cleaning this margin by brushing and flossing near the gumline is critical to maximize the longevity of the crown.
A dental bridge (also known as a fixed dental prosthesis or FDP) is a way to replace a missing tooth or teeth which is/are bounded by other teeth. The adjacent teeth are trimmed to allow them to be covered by an abutment crown and a prosthetic appliance is fabricated out of a strong and usually tooth colored material in order to replace the missing teeth as pontics which are suspended between the crowns on the adjacent abutment teeth.
Indications: Bridges are indicated where missing teeth are capable of being supported by the teeth which are adjacent to the space. Sufficient support is necessary from both a tooth structure and from a periodontal standpoint and this is carefully assessed by your prosthodontist prior to recommending a bridge.
Bridges vs implants: Occasionally when a tooth is missing in a tooth-bound space, patients are able to choose between a bridge and an implant to restore the missing tooth. Although the functional differences are minimal there are several important things to consider when choosing between these options. Implants are impervious to acid erosion and do not get cavities even though the bacteria which cause them are still present. Patients at high caries risk may therefore favor implants over bridges. Bridges are typically able to be completed a month or more before implant restorations due to the need to wait for surgical wound healing and osseointegration of the dental implant before loading in most cases. Many times there is inadequate bone for dental implant placement and performing bone grafts to augment it can add both cost and time to the treatment. Patients must weigh these options and risks of the dental procedure prior to making a choice. Both implants and bridges are wonderful options for replacing teeth in a way that allows for complete restoration of form and function of the missing teeth.