The treatment we use to repair damage to natural tooth structure is dictated by the extent of injury that has occurred. When possible, we will restore structure with a tooth-colored filling, inlay, or onlay. When more than half of the original structure of a tooth has been damaged, optimal restoration may come from full coverage with a dental crown. Dental crowns may be used to hold together a tooth that has fractured or to support a tooth that has become very worn down. Additionally, large cavities may be repaired with a dental crown.
A crown fully covers the visible portion of the tooth. Its purpose is to buffer the force that occurs when you bite or chew food. This force has been measured at hundreds of pounds. As dentistry has evolved, the materials used to make dental crowns have changed. One of the original dental materials, gold, continues to be a great choice for long lasting tooth repair. Crowns may also be made of metal alloy.
One of the biggest improvements to dental crown treatment has been the use of porcelain. Today, it is possible to repair tooth damage and, at the same time, hide the fact that damage ever existed. When we recommend treatment with a dental crown, we provide details on the different materials available, including porcelain fused to metal crowns and metal-free crowns. In the end, the restoration you select is fully up to you. We help you feel confident in your decision by discussing the pros and cons of various options.
In addition to covering damaged teeth, crowns may be used to replace missing teeth via the dental bridge or dental implants. Crowns are often recommended for patients who have undergone root canal therapy, as treated teeth tend to become rather brittle and vulnerable to fracture in the absence of roots.
The dental bridge
Bridgework is as it sounds. Just as a structural bridge spans the distance between two areas of land, the dental bridge closes the space that occurs when a tooth or teeth are lost or extracted. Due to affordability and the restoration of a natural appearance, the fixed dental bridge is a common choice for patients requiring tooth replacement.
The fixed dental bridge is a prosthetic that is carefully designed by Dr. Ho from impressions and other diagnostic data, such as x-rays. This restoration includes two dental crowns and one or more artificial teeth, called pontics. In the dental lab, specifications, measurements, and the model taken in our office are used to create a bridge out of individual "teeth." Once fused together, the bridge will sit beautifully in the mouth and will restore a large amount of functionality.
To prepare the mouth for this type of treatment, Dr. Ho will slightly modify the teeth that lie adjacent to the empty space. These teeth need to be made smaller so their crowns will fit perfectly over them. The final restoration will be anchored by these two teeth and it can last for many years with good care. Due to the use of materials like ceramic and porcelain, a dental bridge can blend seamlessly into the smile.
Hamilton dentist Karen Ho has completed extensive training and has years of experience providing preventative, restorative, and cosmetic care. Feel good about seeing your dentist! Call Dentistry on Parkdale for your visit today.