Crowns & Bridges

Tooth supported fixed bridge, 3D illustration

Crowns

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped prosthetic that is custom-fitted to cover the surface of a natural tooth or dental implant. They are also sometimes referred to as “caps” since they fit over the top of the tooth. Crowns are fixed in place and are used to restore the function and appearance of teeth that have become severely damaged or decayed. There are different types of dental crowns available, depending on the materials for fabrication. SmileMcLean Dentistry offers the following types of dental crowns:

Emax Crowns

Emax crowns are fabricated out of a glass-ceramic material (lithium disilicate) that is strong and resistant to chips, cracks, and breakage. They also have a natural appearance that mimics both the color and translucency of natural teeth. Because of their highly aesthetic appearance, Emax crowns work well for use in the front of the mouth where they are visible.

Zirconia Crowns

Zirconia crowns are a type of porcelain crown fabricated out of a powdered, white metal called zirconium dioxide. This allows zirconia crowns to maintain the same strength as metal crowns, but without the metallic appearance. Instead, zirconia crowns have a white appearance that can be customized to match the exact color of your teeth. Because of their extreme strength, zirconia crowns work well for use in the back of the mouth.

Candidates:

Candidates for a dental crown are individuals who have one or more teeth that are significantly damaged or decayed. In some cases, dental crowns can also be used to improve the size, shape, or color of an imperfect tooth.

The Procedure

To place a dental crown, Dr. Farahi will first anesthetize the tooth and remove any decayed tissue. Then, he will reduce the overall size of the tooth to allow for a dental crown to fit on top. Once the tooth has been reduced in size, a dental impression will be taken and sent to a dental laboratory. Once the crown has been fabricated, a second appointment will be needed for Dr. Farahi to fit and cement the crown.

Bridges

A dental bridge is a tooth-shaped prosthetic that is custom-fitted to cover the space left by one or more missing teeth. This type of tooth restoration provides the function and appearance of natural teeth and can be used to replace missing front teeth, back teeth or both. A bridge will consist of one or more fake teeth, or pontics, that span the gap left by missing teeth with a dental crown on either side anchoring it in place. Dental bridges offer significant advantages over dentures, as they are fixed in place and do not require removal for eating or speaking. SmileMcLean Dentistry offers the following types of dental bridges:

Zirconia Bridges

Dental bridges fabricated from zirconia combine aesthetics with strength. Its strength means that it can be safely used for bridges towards the back of the mouth, while its appearance also allows it to be a suitable option for bridges in the front of the mouth. Moreover, zirconia is biocompatible, meaning that it should not cause any reactions with the surrounding gum tissue.

Porcelain Bonded Bridges

Dental bridges fabricated from porcelain are valued for their natural appearance. Porcelain bonded bridges, also sometimes known as Carolina bridges, are often used towards the front of the mouth to restore missing maxillary incisors without significant tooth preparation. This makes the procedure reversible, while also allowing it to last several years. However, porcelain bonded bridges lack the same type of strength as zirconia bridges and should only be used towards the front of the mouth.

Candidates:

Candidates for a dental bridge are individuals who have one or more missing teeth. As mentioned before, certain types of bridges may be better suited for certain cases. Specifically, zirconia bridges are recommended for use towards the back of the mouth, while the porcelain bonded bridges may be ideal for use towards the front of the mouth.

The Procedure:

To place a dental bridge, Dr. Farahi will first anesthetize the teeth on either side of the gap. Then, he will reduce the overall size of the teeth to allow for a dental crown to fit on top of both teeth. Once the teeth have been reduced in size, a dental impression will be taken and sent to a dental laboratory. Once the bridge has been fabricated, a second appointment will be needed to fit and cement the bridge.

For more information on crowns and bridges, contact Dr. Farahi at SmileMcLean Dentistry. We offer a wide range of dental procedures including porcelain bonded bridges or zirconia bridges to restore smiles in McLean, VA. If you’re not sure which type of treatment is the best for your specific case, call us today!

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