Juan M. Carrillo, DMD
General Dentist & Cosmetic Dentist located in Richmond, VA
Bridgework can be a lifesaver for anyone missing a tooth, and dental crowns are one of the most versatile and effective tools that dentists can use today. With a variety of materials to choose from and a world-class staff, Juan M. Carrillo, DMD, can help you get bridgework or a dental crown that will look and feel natural and comfortable. For more information, call the helpful staff at the office in Richmond, Virginia, or make an appointment online.
Crowns and Bridges Q & A
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is a cap shaped like a tooth that Dr. Carrillo can place on a damaged, decayed or broken tooth to restore its shape and function. A dental crown is cemented onto the tooth so it covers the entire tooth above the gumline, but installing a crown does not involve removal of the root of the tooth.
Why would I need a dental crown?
Dental crowns can be helpful in a wide variety of scenarios, including:
- Protecting a decayed or broken tooth from further damage
- Restoring a broken or worn down tooth that no longer functions
- Supporting or capping a tooth with a large filling
- Covering a misshapen tooth or making a cosmetic change
- Covering a dental implant
Dental crowns can also be used to support a dental bridge, accomplished by attaching crowns to healthy teeth on either side of the gap left by missing or damaged teeth.
What are dental crowns made of?
Dental crowns can be made from several materials, and you’ll have the option to choose which one is right for you. Stainless steel is a common temporary option, especially for children. Metal or porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are also common due to the durability of metal.
However, many people don’t like the color of these crowns, have metal allergies or are uncomfortable with any possible long-term effects of metal exposure, so they might choose a no-metal option, including porcelain, zirconium, and dental resin. Dr. Carrillo usually recommends one of the metal-free options, which can usually be sized and created in your first visit.
What is a dental bridge?
If you’re missing one or more teeth, a bridge can be used to span this gap and restore your bite and smile. Dr. Carrillo will install a crown on the tooth to either side of the gap left by your missing tooth or teeth, and these crowns will support a false tooth or teeth in the middle called a pontic. Pontics can be made from gold, alloy, porcelain, or some combination of these materials.
Depending on the location of the bridge and the health of the surrounding teeth, it may only be bonded to one side, or be supported by a wing of dental composite. Bridges can also be supported by dental implants.
What should I expect when getting a crown or bridge?
When installing a crown, Dr. Carrillo performs an examination to determine if a crown is your best option, as opposed to a dental implant, or another procedure like a root canal treatment. Before he installs the crown, he gives you a general anesthetic to numb your tooth and surrounding gum tissue. Dr. Carrillo then files the tooth into the proper size and shape to properly support a crown.
Depending on the material used to make your crown, Dr. Carrillo may make a mold of your tooth for the shape of your new crown. Zirconia crowns can be made in the office, but porcelain and many other crowns will need a few weeks to be constructed. Once it’s ready, the crown is cemented to your tooth permanently.
Dental bridges are typically done over multiple visits, and the process is very similar to getting a crown. In your first visit, Dr. Carrillo shapes the teeth on either side of the gap, called the abutment teeth, so they’re able to support a crown. Then he takes an impression of the abutment teeth so that the bridge fits them perfectly. While your bridge is being constructed, you’re given a temporary bridge to support your teeth and help you speak and eat normally.
When you return for a second visit, Dr. Carrillo confirms the bridge fits perfectly, before cementing it into place.
If you need a crown, or if you have any questions, call the office today or make an appointment online.