Crowns and Bridges
When decay or tooth damage is extensive, a filling might not be enough. A crown may be needed to restore the tooth’s look and function, and keep you from having to get an extraction.
Bridges can be used to literally bridge the gap caused by a missing tooth.
At Smiles by Shields, we can provide both – in aesthetic and biocompatible ways.
Placing a traditional crown takes two visits. At the first, Dr. Shields removes the decay, prepares the tooth, and fits a temporary resin crown over it. Models of your teeth are sent to a dental lab where they fabricate an exact copy of the top of your tooth – its crown. At your second appointment, we cement the permanent restoration to your prepared tooth, adjusting as needed so the bite is just right.
But we can also do crowns in a single visit with CEREC® technology.
With CEREC, we don’t need to take impressions. Instead, we create a 3D image of it on a computer. A machine in our office then uses that image as a guide to mill your crown from a biocompatible ceramic block in just about 20 minutes. Dr. Shields checks the fit, polishes the restoration, and then bonds it in place.
No second visit required!
Dental crowns look beautiful and natural, and help restore function and overall oral health. Most of our crowns are metal-free, biocompatible ceramic – a very strong, long-lasting material.
A missing molar may not cause significant problems, but when other teeth are lost due to decay, accident, or injury, they need to be replaced. Otherwise, surrounding teeth will shift out of place and weaken over time.
Implants are one option for replacing missing teeth. Bridges are the other.
Like traditional crowns, bridges require two visits. At the first, Dr. Shields prepares the teeth on either side of the gap, which will anchor the bridge. A model of your teeth is then sent to the lab where the bridge will be made.
A fixed bridge – the more stable option – will then be cemented at the second visit. If you are getting a removable bridge – great for easy cleaning – Dr. Shields will place it and adjust the bite as needed for a perfectly comfortable fit.
Fixed bridges are all biocompatible ceramic, while removable bridges will have bits of metal, as well, or a flexible material to attach the bridge to the abutment teeth.
Either option provides a restored smile that looks completely natural.