Crowns and Bridges
At Lanier Valley Dentistry we offer several services to keep your smile bright, beautiful, and healthy. While preventive dentistry is our priority, we also offer restorative services to get your smile back on track. Even though tooth fillings are our first line of defense against tooth decay and damage, they are not always effective. If this is the case, we also offer dental crowns and bridges to fix unhealthy teeth and replace missing ones.
What are Dental Crowns?
As the name suggests, a dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that covers the visible portion of a damaged tooth. Dental crowns are used for teeth that are cracked, broken, heavily decayed, discolored, abnormally shaped, or otherwise damaged. We may recommend a crown after a large filling has fallen out. Crowns are also used to save a tooth from extraction after root canal therapy.
Although there are several types of crowns, tooth-colored materials, such as porcelain or zirconia, are the most popular option. Depending on the location of the tooth, we may need to use an amalgam (silver) crown to ensure the tooth can support a strong bite force. However, this is becoming less necessary thanks to improvements in technology and materials. These days, porcelain and zirconia are nearly as strong an amalgam and gold. Porcelain crowns are made to match the size, shape, and color of your existing teeth. Your restoration will be nearly impossible to discern from your natural teeth. Dental crowns can also be supported by a dental implant.
During the procedure, Colin Lentz, DDS will completely reshape the enamel of the damaged tooth. Next, an impression will be made of your newly shaped tooth and sent to the dental laboratory. There they will use the model to fabricate your crown. Once the process is complete, we can schedule your final appointment, and place the permanent crown. In many cases, your crown will last for decades. Although they can also last a lifetime, they do tend to loosen or fall out over time.
What are Bridges?
A dental bridge is used to fill the space of one or more missing teeth. Bridges also prevent your remaining teeth from shifting out of position, restore your ability to chew and speak properly and restore the aesthetics of your smile.
A bridge is typically made of porcelain or zirconia, and literally “bridges” the gap left by a missing or extracted tooth. During the procedure, Colin Lentz, DDS will reshape the enamel of the adjacent teeth. These teeth, also known as the abutment teeth, serve as the anchors for your restoration. They are fitted with two crowns that attach to a pontic, or prosthetic tooth. Much like a crown, an impression of your newly reshaped teeth will be made and sent to the dental laboratory. Once the restoration is complete, we will permanently cement it to your abutment teeth. Bridges can also be supported by dental implants. Instead of abutment teeth, an implant will be placed for each missing tooth.
A bridge is also designed to last for many years; however, certain precautions must be made to ensure its longevity. Because it is a single piece, it is not possible to clean in between the prosthetic teeth. Instead, you will need to clean in between the restoration and your gums. This requires the use of a special brush or floss that is easy to thread. Talk with Colin Lentz, DDS to learn more about bridges.
Schedule Your Appointment
Call (678) 802-8654 to schedule your appointment today!