Porcelain crowns are a common choice for aesthetically restoring your smile by correcting damaged, decayed or cosmetically unpleasing teeth, as well as improving their function. At John L. Covert, D.D.S., P.A. and Associates in San Antonio, we provide both all porcelain crowns and porcelain bonded to metal crowns.
What is a Crown?
A crown, sometimes called a “cap”, is a tooth-like covering placed over a carefully prepared existing tooth. Used to strengthen, restore, or improve the appearance of your natural tooth, a crown is placed on an individual tooth, much like a thimble over your finger. Crowns serve many functions, in addition to being used to strengthen a tooth to accommodate the attachment of a fixed bridge. One of the most common uses is to support the tooth when there is no longer sufficient tooth structure left to place a filling. Crowns may also be used to protect the structure of a tooth that is fractured or broken.
What is a Bridge and Why Are Crowns Involved?
A bridge is a custom device anchored to neighboring teeth that replaces one or more missing teeth. When a lost tooth is replaced with bridgework, the teeth on either side of the missing one must be prepared as crowns to serve as abutments to hold prosthetic (replacement) teeth in place. Crowns and bridges are most often made from superior materials such as semi-precious or precious metals, porcelain, or a combination of metal fused to porcelain. Both appearance and function are considered when selecting the material most suitable for you.
Why is Crown and Bridge Treatment Necessary?
Losing a permanent tooth, whether it be due to dental decay, periodontal (gum) disease, injury, or accident can cause many serious problems for your neighboring teeth. Because the support and chewing forces are altered, the remaining teeth may begin to shift. The opposing tooth above or below the lost tooth can begin to move up or down and out of the socket, which can accelerate periodontal disease and further break down the bone structure. If the missing tooth is not replaced, more teeth may eventually be lost due to the improper forces exerted during chewing.
What are the Benefits of Crown and Bridge Treatment?
Crown and bridge treatment reverses the negative impact of missing teeth in a variety of ways:
- Restores and maintains the natural bite
- Prevents unnatural stress or other teeth
- Keeps opposing teeth in their proper place
- Prevents shifting and tilting of adjacent teeth
- Discourages further dental decay and periodontal disease
- Enhances your smile, speech and chewing function
How is the Treatment Performed?
Once we determine that crown and bridge treatment is indicated, two appointments will be scheduled for you.
During the first appointment, we anesthetize the area to be treated. Next, we carefully shape and contour the tooth, or teeth, to be crowned to allow the crown, or bridge, sufficient space for proper fit and appearance. Finally, we make an impression of the area and fit the teeth with a temporary crown or bridge to protect them until your next appointment.
At the following appointment, we evaluate the final crown, or bridge, for proper fit before placing it permanently, making final adjustments, if necessary. Other factors we carefully consider at this time include:
- Aesthetics – color match and appearance
- Function – chewing and biting accuracy
- Tissue compatibility – the contour of the bridge must conform to the surrounding tissue in a natural, healthy position
We will make every effort to ensure your comfort during your crown and bridge treatment. To learn more about porcelain crowns, or to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists, contact the dental office of John L. Covert D.D.S., P.A. & Associates today at (210) 647.0477.