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Porcelain Crowns, Bridges, and Veneers


 
Porcelain Crowns 

A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface and restores it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restoration.

Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (a tooth-colored crown) is the most popular, because they resemble natural teeth. They are highly durable and will last many years but, like most dental restorations, may eventually need to be replaced.  Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color of your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting, and beautiful smile.

Reasons for crowns:

  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Cosmetic enhancement
  • Decayed teeth
  • Fractured fillings
  • Large fillings
  • Tooth has a root canal

What does getting a crown involve?

A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown. This will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks or until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.

While the tooth is numb, Dr. Judy Husen will prepare it by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown.  Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.

At your second appointment, your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.

You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.

Dental Bridges 

A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.

There are several types of bridges. You and Dr. Husen will discuss the best options for your particular case. The “traditional bridge” is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal. Porcelain fixed bridges are popular because they resemble your natural teeth. This type of bridge consists of two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth), are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), and fill the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years; however, they may need replacement or to be re-cemented due to normal wear.

Reasons for a fixed bridge:

  • Fill space of missing teeth
  • Maintain facial shape
  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
  • Restore chewing and speaking ability
  • Restore smile
  • Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance

What does getting a fixed bridge involve?

Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown. Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made which will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks or until your next appointment.

At the second visit, your permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit. Occasionally, Dr. Husen may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing your teeth and tissue time to become accustomed to the new bridge. The new bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time.

You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits will help lengthen the life of your new, permanent bridge.

Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are very thin pieces of durable, tooth-shaped porcelain custom made (for shape and color) by a professional dental laboratory. They are bonded onto the front of teeth to create a beautiful and attractive smile.

Veneers can completely reshape your teeth and smile. They are often alternatives to crowns and can be the ideal solution for many dental conditions.

As with most dental restorations, veneers are not permanent and may someday need replacement. However, they are very durable and will last many years.

Reasons for porcelain veneers:

  • Cosmetic reasons, or to create a uniform, white, beautiful smile
  • Crooked teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Severely discolored or stained teeth
  • Teeth that are too small or large
  • Unwanted or uneven spaces
  • Worn or chipped teeth

What does getting porcelain veneers involve?

Getting veneers usually requires two visits. Little to no anesthesia is required during the procedure. The teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the surface to allow for the thickness of the veneer. A mold or impression of the teeth is taken and a shade (color) will then be chosen by you and Dr. Husen.

On the second visit the teeth will be cleansed with special liquids to achieve a durable bond. Bonding cement is then placed between the tooth and veneer and a special light beam is used to harden and set the bond.

You will receive care instructions for veneers. Proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits will lengthen the life of your new veneers.

If you have any questions about cosmetic dental procedures, call Dr. Judy Husen at (415) 924-4244.

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