Crowns and Bridges

Crowns and Bridges

Dental crowns and bridges are essential restorative procedures used to enhance the function and aesthetics of your teeth. They are integral to modern dentistry, providing solutions for damaged, decayed, or missing teeth.

At L.E.S. Dental Group, we believe in empowering our patients with knowledge about their dental health. This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about dental crowns and bridges, including their benefits, types, procedures, and care instructions.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns, also known as caps, are prosthetic devices designed by our dentist in New York, NY, to encase a damaged, decayed, or weakened tooth and restore its strength, shape, size, and appearance. Crafted from materials like porcelain, ceramic, metal alloys, or a combination thereof, dental crowns are customized to fit snugly over the prepared tooth, shielding it from further damage while enhancing its aesthetics.

By providing durable protection and structural support, crowns enable patients to bite, chew, and speak confidently while improving their smile's overall appearance. Whether used to reinforce a cracked tooth, restore a severely decayed tooth, support a dental bridge, or cover a dental implant, dental crowns offer lasting benefits by preserving the integrity of natural teeth and enhancing oral function and aesthetics.

Types of Dental Crowns 

Porcelain Crowns 

  • Porcelain crowns are crafted from dental-grade ceramic materials that closely resemble the appearance of natural teeth. 
  • They offer excellent aesthetics due to their ability to mimic the translucency and color of natural tooth enamel. 
  • Porcelain crowns are ideal for restoring front teeth or apparent areas of the smile where aesthetics is paramount.
  • While they provide natural-looking results, porcelain crowns may be prone to chipping or fracturing under heavy biting forces. 

Metal Crowns 

  • Metal crowns are typically made from gold alloy, palladium, or non-noble metals. 
  • They are renowned for their exceptional strength, durability, and resistance to wear and tear. 
  • Metal crowns require minimal tooth preparation and are well-suited for restoring molars and teeth subjected to significant biting forces. 
  • While highly functional, metal crowns are less aesthetic than porcelain or ceramic options and may not be suitable for visible areas of the smile. 

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) Crowns 

  • PFM crowns combine the strength of metal with the aesthetic appeal of porcelain. 
  • These crowns feature a metal substructure covered with a layer of tooth-colored porcelain, providing durability and natural-looking aesthetics. 
  • PFM crowns balance strength and aesthetics, making them suitable for front and back teeth. 
  • However, the metal substructure may sometimes cause a grayish line at the gumline, compromising the overall aesthetics. 

All-Ceramic Crowns 

  • All-ceramic crowns are crafted from high-strength ceramic materials such as zirconia or lithium disilicate.
  • They offer excellent aesthetics, strength, and biocompatibility, making them ideal for restoring teeth in visible areas of the smile. 
  • All-ceramic crowns are highly durable and resistant to chipping or fracturing, providing long-lasting results.
  • These crowns blend in seamlessly with natural teeth, achieving lifelike results without the risk of a visible metal margin.

Composite Resin Crowns 

  • Composite resin crowns are made from tooth-colored dental composite material bonded directly to the tooth surface. 
  • They are typically used for temporary crowns or restoring small areas of decay or damage in anterior teeth. 
  • While cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing, composite resin crowns may offer a different level of durability and longevity than other crown types. 

The Dental Crown Procedure 

The dental crown procedure typically involves two visits to the dentist. During the first visit, our dentist at L.E.S. Dental Group will examine and prepare the tooth by reshaping it to create space for the crown. Impressions of the tooth are then taken to create a custom crown and a temporary crown is placed to protect the prepared tooth while the permanent one is being made. This temporary crown is usually made from acrylic and is cemented for about two weeks until the permanent crown is ready.

During the second visit, the temporary crown will be removed, and the fit and appearance of the permanent crown will be checked. Any necessary adjustments will be made to ensure a perfect fit. Once satisfied, the dentist will permanently cement the crown onto the tooth. Post-placement care includes maintaining good oral hygiene and attending follow-up appointments to ensure the crown functions correctly.

This straightforward procedure effectively restores the tooth's shape, size, strength, and appearance. Contact us today to learn more!

Why You Might Need a Dental Crown

To Protect a Weakened Tooth 

Teeth can become weakened due to factors such as extensive decay, large fillings, or trauma. A dental crown in New York, NY, provides added protection to prevent further damage and preserve the tooth's structure. 

To Restore a Broken or Worn-Down Tooth

Teeth that are broken or significantly worn down, often due to bruxism (teeth grinding) or accidents, can benefit from the structural reinforcement provided by a dental crown. 

To Support a Tooth With a Large Filling

Teeth with large fillings may be structurally compromised, making them susceptible to fractures. A dental crown helps support and reinforce the remaining tooth structure, reducing the risk of fracture.

To Hold a Dental Bridge in Place 

Dental bridges replace missing teeth by anchoring artificial teeth (pontics) to adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. Dental crowns are placed on these neighboring teeth to provide stability and support for the bridge. 

To Cover Misshapen or Discolored Teeth 

Teeth that are misshapen, uneven, or severely discolored can be aesthetically enhanced with the placement of dental crowns. Crowns provide a natural-looking solution to improve the appearance of these teeth. 

To Cover a Dental Implant 

Dental implants are titanium posts surgically inserted into the jawbone to replace missing teeth. A dental crown is attached to the implant, serving as the visible, functional tooth restoration. 

For Cosmetic Enhancement 

In addition to their restorative purposes, dental crowns can also be used for cosmetic enhancements. They can alter the shape, size, and color of teeth to create a more pleasing smile.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are restorative dental devices used by our dentist in New York, NY, to replace one or more missing teeth by bridging the gap between adjacent teeth. Typically made from porcelain, metal alloys, or a combination of both, bridges consist of artificial teeth (pontics) anchored to adjacent natural teeth or dental implants (abutments).

Beyond restoring aesthetics and function by filling in gaps in the smile and restoring bite alignment, dental bridges prevent adjacent teeth from shifting out of place, maintain facial shape, distribute biting forces evenly, and improve speech and chewing ability. They offer a durable, long-term solution for replacing missing teeth, enhancing oral health, and restoring confidence in one's smile.

Types of Dental Bridges 

Traditional Dental Bridges 

  • Traditional dental bridges are the most common type. They are used by our dentist at L.E.S. Dental Group when healthy natural teeth are available on both sides of the gap created by a missing tooth.
  • Pontics (artificial teeth) are fused between two dental crowns placed over the adjacent natural teeth, called abutments. 
  • The crowns are cemented onto the abutments, securing the bridge and filling the gap with the pontics.

Cantilever Dental Bridges 

  • Cantilever bridges are used when only one healthy adjacent tooth is present next to the gap created by a missing tooth.
  • Similar to traditional bridges, a pontic is attached to a dental crown. However, the crown is only bonded to one abutment tooth instead of two. 
  • Cantilever bridges are less common than traditional bridges and are typically used when there's no option for crowns to be placed on both sides of the gap.

Maryland Dental Bridges (Resin-Bonded Bridges) 

  • Maryland bridges are a conservative option that doesn’t involve altering the adjacent teeth on either side of the gap to place dental crowns.
  • The pontics are supported by metal or porcelain wings bonded to the backs of the adjacent teeth using resin cement.
  • This type of bridge preserves the structure of the adjacent teeth, as they don't need to be extensively prepared for crowns. 

Implant-Supported Dental Bridges 

  • Implant-supported bridges are used when multiple adjacent teeth are missing, and there isn’t sufficient support from natural teeth to place a traditional bridge.
  • Dental implants are surgically placed in the jawbone as artificial tooth roots. They act as sturdy anchors for the bridge. 
  • The pontics are attached to the implants via abutments, providing a stable and long-lasting solution for replacing missing teeth. 
  • Implant-supported bridges offer several advantages, including improved stability, preservation of adjacent teeth, and preventing bone loss in the jaw. 

The Benefits of Dental Bridges 

Restored Functionality 

One of the primary benefits of dental bridges is their ability to restore the mouth's functionality. By filling in gaps left by missing teeth, bridges facilitate proper chewing and biting, allowing individuals to enjoy a diverse range of foods without discomfort or difficulty. Additionally, bridges help maintain appropriate alignment of the remaining teeth, preventing issues such as shifting or misalignment that can arise from tooth loss. Contact us today to learn more!

Enhanced Aesthetics 

Beyond their functional benefits, dental bridges play a crucial role in restoring a smile's aesthetics. Missing teeth can impact facial appearance, leading to a sunken or aged appearance. Bridges effectively address this issue by filling in the gaps and restoring the natural contour of the smile. With carefully crafted pontics that mimic the appearance of natural teeth, bridges seamlessly blend in with the surrounding dentition, creating a beautiful and harmonious smile.

Preservation of Oral Health 

Dental bridges in New York, NY, offer more than cosmetic enhancements; they also contribute to the preservation of oral health. By filling in gaps in the smile, bridges prevent adjacent teeth from shifting out of position, which can lead to bite problems and an increased risk of dental issues such as gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Furthermore, bridges help distribute biting forces evenly across the dental arch, reducing the strain on individual teeth and minimizing the risk of premature wear and tear.

Improved Speech and Confidence 

Missing teeth can affect speech clarity and confidence in social situations. Dental bridges address these concerns by restoring proper teeth alignment and supporting the lips and cheeks. With improved speech clarity and restored confidence in their smile, individuals who receive dental bridges can enjoy enhanced social interactions and a better quality of life. 

Long-Term Durability 

Dental bridges provide long-term durability and reliability with proper care and maintenance. Made from high-quality materials such as porcelain, metal alloys, or a combination of both, bridges are designed to withstand the rigors of daily use and maintain their integrity over time. Routine dental check-ups and good oral hygiene practices are essential for ensuring the longevity of dental bridges and preserving their benefits for years to come. 

Visit L.E.S. Dental Group at 62 Rivington Street, New York, NY 10002, or call (212) 979-0990 to learn how dental crowns and bridges can help enhance your oral health.

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62 Rivington Street,
New York, NY 10002

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