Metal-ceramic crowns and bridges are the most widely accepted methods for creating prosthetic tooth replacements. Crowns are dental caps that cover the entire surface of a tooth, and multiple connected crowns form a bridge. The fundamental difference between crowns and bridges is that crowns are placed on existing teeth in the mouth, while bridges are used to replace missing teeth.
At Dr. Bede’s dental clinic, we create crowns and dental bridges using a variety of materials, including a combination of metal and ceramics. This material consists of a metal base on which ceramic is placed to match the desired color, shape, and size of the teeth
When is the Placement of Metal-Ceramic Crowns Recommended?
We recommend crowns for teeth that have extensive damage or are primarily composed of fillings. In such cases, it’s better to protect the tooth with a crown to extend its lifespan, especially when there is a root canal treatment, which makes the tooth more prone to fractures. Aesthetic concerns are another reason to opt for ceramic crowns. When a patient is dissatisfied with the appearance, position, shape, or color of their teeth, crowns can be used to enhance their look.
When Do We Advise the Placement of Metal-Ceramic Bridges?
Dental bridges are created when one or more teeth are missing, but there must be healthy natural teeth in front of and behind the gap. These supporting teeth will serve as anchors for the bridge, which consists of several connected crowns. In addition to cases with missing teeth, bridges can also be used when all teeth are present but weakened due to certain issues (such as periodontal disease or fractures). Combining multiple teeth into a single structure helps them better withstand chewing forces and perform their function effectively.
Procedure for Metal-Ceramic Crowns
The process of placing metal-ceramic crowns and bridges is standard and considered routine. After conducting a dental examination, checking the health of the teeth, and analyzing X-ray images, we proceed to tooth drilling.
Tooth drilling involves reducing the size of the tooth to accommodate the thickness of the future crown. Tooth reduction for crowns is performed with anesthesia and is entirely painless.
After tooth drilling, we take impressions to create the crown. Impressions of all teeth, both upper and lower, are necessary to ensure that the future ceramic teeth align well with the patient’s bite. These impressions are then sent to a dental laboratory, where dental technicians create the crowns or bridges.
Throughout the process, we perform several tooth fitting tests to ensure that the new teeth both function and look as intended. Once the dentist and the patient are satisfied that the teeth meet all the desired criteria, we proceed to cement the crown in place, which may require anesthesia if necessary. After the cementing process, the procedure is complete.
Why Is It Important to Replace Missing Teeth?
As previously mentioned, metal-ceramic bridges can replace one or more missing teeth. This is crucial because after a tooth is extracted, it disrupts the balance and function of all other teeth in the mouth. Adjacent teeth start to shift and tilt into the empty space, directly impacting their health and longevity. This not only negatively affects dental and gum health but also poses a significant aesthetic concern.
Maintenance of Metal-Ceramic Crowns and Bridges
Maintaining the hygiene of metal-ceramic crowns and bridges is crucial to ensuring their longevity. In addition to using regular toothbrushes and toothpaste, interdental brushes or water flossers can be helpful. In addition to home care, it’s essential to visit a dentist for professional teeth cleaning 1-2 times a year.
Crown Installation at Our Dental Clinic
The procedure for creating and installing crowns and bridges, depending on the number of teeth involved, can take 7-10 days. During this process, temporary crowns can be made to protect the reduced teeth and provide an aesthetic appearance. These temporary crowns are made from a special type of plastic and also serve to shield the reduced teeth from temperature sensitivity.
If you are unsure whether metal-ceramic crowns or bridges are the right choice for you, please contact us for a free consultation and examination to receive recommendations tailored to your specific case.