Porcelain Crowns and Bridges
Smile Texas Porcelain Veneers
Before and After
At Smile Texas we use porcelain crowns and bridges to return strength to damaged teeth and to replace missing teeth. While the two are different dental prostheses, crowns are an integral part of every bridge. Both play a role in our Smile Makeovers.
We use only porcelain for our crowns and bridges, as it mimics the reflection characteristics of natural enamel and is exceptionally strong and durable. Our restorations will look completely natural and will give you renewed confidence. You’ll have a smile you’ll be proud to show off!
Dr. Davis and the staff were incredible! I never thought I’d enjoy a visit to the dentist so much. The staff always made me feel comfortable and reassured. I had a crown lengthening done and veneers and am very pleased! Would definitely recommend friends and family.
What is a porcelain crown?
When a tooth either has extensive decay or inherent problems such as a crack or chip, we use a crown to return function and strength. A crown is a porcelain restoration that covers the entire tooth down to the gumline. In addition to damaged teeth, crowns can be used to cover misshapen teeth or to fill uneven gaps. They also serve as the anchors for dental bridges.
What problems do porcelain crowns correct?
At Smile Texas, we use porcelain crowns for these dental problems:
- Teeth with overly large fillings
- Severely worn teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Heavily decayed teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Severely discolored teeth
- Teeth that have had a root canal
- Teeth on both sides of a bridge
How are porcelain crowns placed?
Placing a porcelain crown requires two visits. During your first visit, we prepare the tooth. Decayed or damaged areas of the tooth are removed and the tooth is thoroughly cleaned. To make room for the crown, we then shave off a portion of the tooth enamel. Next, we take impressions and photos to send to the dental lab to create your porcelain crown. Fabrication takes about one week, and we place a temporary crown on your tooth in the meantime.
When your crown is finished you return for your second appointment. First, we check the fit and color match of your crown. We may make some minor adjustments to ensure the perfect fit. Then we cement the crown onto your tooth permanently.
How long do crowns last?
With proper care, there is no upper limit to how long porcelain crowns from Smile Texas can last. Their lifespan is often contingent upon the health of the underlying tooth and surrounding gums, which will depend on your home hygiene.
How are porcelain crowns different from porcelain veneers?
Porcelain veneers are thin porcelain shells that are applied only to the fronts of the teeth. They are typically only used as part of a cosmetic smile makeover. A crown completely covers the tooth and returns strength to a tooth that is damaged or heavily decayed.
What is a porcelain bridge?
At Smile Texas, we use porcelain bridges to literally “bridge the gap” between one or more missing teeth. A porcelain bridge consists of:
- Two crowns on the healthy teeth on both sides of the gap. These teeth are called the abutment teeth. They can be your natural teeth or dental implants.
- A false tooth or teeth in between. These are called the pontics.
Bridges are usually a single piece and are permanently cemented into place. There are three main types of bridges: traditional bridges as described above; cantilever bridges, where there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth; and Maryland bridges, which are used on the front teeth.
How is a porcelain bridge placed?
Placing a porcelain bridge requires two appointments. First, the teeth on each side of the gap are prepared for their crowns. As described above, this involves removing some of the enamel to make room for the crown. Once this is done, we take impressions for the fabrication of your bridge.
When the dental lab has finished your bridge, you return for the second appointment. We test the fit and the color match with your adjacent teeth, making adjustments as necessary. Sometimes, we’ll place your new bridge with temporary cement to allow you to test the fit during normal use before we permanently cement it into place.
How long do bridges last?
With proper care, there is no upper limit to how long a dental bridge can last. The key is the health of the supporting teeth that secure the bridge.
How do bridges compare with dental implants?
A bridge fills the gap from a missing tooth or teeth with a false tooth that covers down to the gumline but not below. Patients with bridges need to floss and clean beneath the false tooth to keep bacteria from building up. Bridges require that the teeth on both sides of the gap be covered with crowns to support the false tooth or teeth filling the gap.
A dental implant fully replaces a missing tooth. A dental implant is anchored by a titanium implant that is screwed down into the jawbone in the space formerly occupied by the tooth root. Then the jawbone is given time to accept and grow around the implant, making it a part of the jawbone. From there, a post is attached with a false tooth (crown) atop that. An implant replaces a missing tooth and doesn’t impact the adjacent teeth. Also, dental implants can last the remainder of the patient’s life.