Dental Crowns and Fixed Bridges
Crowns and Bridges
A bridge is used to replace missing teeth and provides an alternative means to more expensive dental implants or even dentures. Some bridges are removable, but most are permanent or “fixed.” To install them, our dentists first cut down the adjacent teeth and fit them with crowns. Temporary crowns and spacers will be used until the custom crowns and bridge can be installed. The space between the crowns is then filled and attached to the crowns for support. These crowns can be used to replace one tooth or nearly all the teeth in your mouth, thus having both functional and aesthetic importance. Correctly installed fixed bridges are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. These appliances can be very expensive, but dental insurance will often cover a large part of the cost.
Implant and Mini Implant Supported Dentures
Dentures, partial and full, are prosthetics that replace missing teeth and can be taken in and out of the mouth by the patient. Partial dentures replace some of the teeth in your mouth and use special attachments to help hold them in place. These attachments rest or grip onto the existing natural teeth or onto specially sculpted crowns called “surveyed crowns”. These attachments can be cast metal clasps or clasp-less “precision” attachments. Porcelain or plastic teeth are attached to the partial denture in place of the missing teeth.
Full dentures replace all of the upper or lower teeth on one or both arches. Teeth are fabricated from porcelain, plastic or a combination of the two. Choosing the right size, shape, contour, and shade of teeth are the keys to giving the patient a natural and healthy appearance. Properly fabricated dentures can restore fullness and contour to the face, which helps the patient maintain a younger and more desirable appearance. Full dentures are held in place by a combination of a patient’s facial musculature and suction created by the patient’s underlying bone structure. Dynamic changes in the form of shrinking can occur in the bone and tissue under the denture with tooth loss and age. The result could be a loose and ill-fitting denture with decreased function.
Full dentures rest on the former toothless ridges and the palate. The major problem with them is retention. This can be improved dramatically with implants and mini-implants. An implant can be placed into the ridge and a ball type fitting made to extend from the implant. Mini-implants are similar but don’t require as extensive surgery or healing time. These fixtures are like small screws placed into the bone. The ball extends out to receive the attached denture with no healing time because it is instantly integrated into the bone. This procedure is possible when the stress is less than that required by a traditional implant fixture.
Matching the color of your natural teeth to crowns, veneers or other dental restorations is now accomplished effortlessly using the Shade Scan system!