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Dental Crowns & Bridges - East Hartford, CT

Restore Your Teeth and Renew Your Confidence

Dentistry is both an art and a science; dental crowns provide a perfect example of this. A dental crown is a covering that fits over a damaged or unattractive tooth. It can even replace a lost tooth altogether as part of a dental bridge. Crowns can be made out of various materials, but when they are crafted out of high-quality porcelain, they are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. When you visit us for your restorative consultation, we will recommend the type of crown that we believe is best for your unique circumstances.

Why Choose Comprehensive Dental Associates of Central Connecticut for Dental Crowns & Bridges?

The Crown Process

If you do not opt for a one-visit restoration, crowning your tooth will likely take two to three visits. At the first visit, we prepare the tooth to receive its new crown. First, we shape it to fit inside the new covering. This may involve the removal of some of its structure to give the it a more uniform shape. We will numb the tooth so you will feel little to nothing during this preparation phase. Sedation may also be an option for you. If there is not much tooth structure left to begin with, we may have to build up the tooth with filling material, rather than file it down, in order to provide the necessary support for the crown.

After we finish preparing the tooth, we will take some impressions of it, either digitally or with reliable, putty-like impression materials. We send the impressions, along with detailed notes, to a dental laboratory. There, the technicians will use the data we provide to make models of your teeth for the creation of a crown. The models will serve as guides during the creation of your new crown. The experts at the laboratory will pay great attention to detail and work hard to ensure that your new restoration both enhances your smile and functions well within your unique bite.

Before your first appointment in the crown process ends, we will attach a temporary crown to your tooth to protect it from sensitivity and potential damage until the permanent crown is ready. At the second visit, our team will verify your crown’s fit before we attach it to your tooth. To ensure that the crown stays in place, we may use either a resin that hardens when exposed to a special light source, or a type of permanent dental cement. Once your crown is in place, your treated tooth will once again provide you with reliable function.

The Dental Bridge Process

Crowns can do more than protect a weakened tooth. They can also be used to entirely replace one or more missing teeth. This is done with bridgework (sometimes called crown and bridge or simply a dental bridge), which spans the empty space and requires at least three crowns. Two of those crowns will be placed over the teeth that are adjacent to the gap (the abutment teeth). The two crowned abutment teeth serve to support for a third crown (called a pontic) that is placed in between them. If more than one tooth is missing, more pontics will be needed to bridge the space between the abutment teeth.

The number of abutment teeth necessary to support a bridge is affected by the number of missing teeth; the size, length, and strength of the abutment tooth roots; the amount of bone support each abutment tooth has; and where in the mouth the missing tooth (or teeth) is located. For example, if you have three missing teeth in a row, four abutment teeth may be necessary, resulting in a seven-tooth bridge. The engineering and designing of dental bridgework require an in-depth understanding of how to replace teeth, as well as knowledge of the biology of the supporting gum and bone tissue.

Some patients are candidates for implant-supported bridges, which do not require the support of any abutment teeth because they gain all of their strength from prosthetic tooth roots that are inserted into the jawbone. We strongly recommend that patients who are candidates for implants choose this treatment option over a traditional dental bridge.

Caring for Your Restorations

Crowns and bridgework require just as much conscientious care as your natural teeth. You should brush and floss between all of your teeth — both restored and natural — every day to fight dental plaque and bad breath. If you have a bridge, you should be sure to clean the small space beneath the pontics as well. When you have crowns, it is more important than ever that you maintain your regular schedule of cleanings and checkups at the dental office. Avoid using your teeth as a tool (to open packages or trim your fingernails, for example). If you struggle with bruxism (teeth grinding), wearing a nightguard in order to protect your teeth and your investment would be highly advisable.

Fixed vs. Removable Bridgework

For those patients who have lost all of their natural teeth, but have not suffered significant bone loss, a fixed full-arch bridge (permanent non-removable teeth, supported by dental implants) may be the treatment of choice. For those who have lost a significant amount of bone volume, an implant-supported overdenture, which is removable, may work well.

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