Generally, crowns are recommended for teeth that are not strong enough to support a filling. A filling typically goes inside the tooth. The tooth had decay, it was broken, and it had a hole. The tooth is shaped or drilled a little bit and then the restoration is placed into the tooth and generally, we use bonding materials today that are cosmetic: they’re tooth colored and that we never use silver or anything like that.
Crowns are for a tooth that aren't strong enough to hold up to a filling. In other words, if we place a filling and next year it breaks in half, you may lose the tooth. A crown can actually save a tooth that would otherwise fail if it just had a filling.
Bridge work is a crown. In the case of somebody that's missing a tooth, then we have different options to replace the missing tooth. A bridge would be a situation where we crown a tooth on each end and then there's a false tooth in the center so that fits on the bridge. It's kind of a technical description of that. A bridge is something that's kind of permanent: it stays in your mouth, you clean it, it’s natural like anything else, similar to implants.
Dental crowns can do many things to help your smile be as good as it can be. From correcting broken teeth to replacing teeth in your smile, a dental crown from Mark W. Wilhelm, DMD, MSD may be all you need to get your smile back to the way you imagine it.
Two Types of Dental Crowns
Traditional – Traditional crowns are caps that fit over the top of damaged teeth. They are made of porcelain and will mimic the shape and size of your original tooth. The porcelain is matched to the color of your teeth, so it will blend in with your healthy teeth. Some of the ways dental crowns are used to restore your mouth to a functional state are as follows:
- Cracked Teeth – Moderate to severe cracks may be treated with a dental crown. The crown will fit snugly over the cracked tooth to keep it from cracking further. The crown will also help you use that tooth again with no pain.
- Broken Teeth – A broken tooth is a very dangerous situation. Not only is it painful, but it also exposes the inside of your tooth to the ever-present bacteria inside your mouth. If your tooth gets infected, you could develop an abscess or experience damage to the other teeth in your smile. A crown will keep all the pieces of your broken tooth together and return the tooth as a functional member of your dental arch. The crown will also seal out any dangerous bacteria and keep you safe from infection.
- Severe Tooth Decay – Tooth decay eats away at the structure of your teeth. Normally, Dr. Wilhelm can clear the decay, and you will only need a dental filling to take care of the damage. But there are times in which the tooth decay is aggressive, or you may have been late getting the problem addressed. In these instances, the tooth decay may have destroyed too much of your tooth to be effectively treated with a filling. Dr. Wilhelm can place a dental crown to save the life of a tooth that has suffered extensive decay and protect it from further decay.
Implant Restoration – This type of crown is more like a real tooth in that it is not a cap but rather a full replacement tooth. There is no void in the middle for a natural tooth to fit in, as the crown doesn’t require teeth for support. This type of crown is used in dental implant applications.
What is an inlay or onlay?
These are two types of partial crowns. They are the middle ground between a dental filling and a full dental crown. An inlay is made for the inside of the biting surface of your teeth. An onlay goes onto the outer biting surface as well. Dr. Wilhelm will go over your situation and help you determine if this is the right treatment for you.
What Dental Bridge Options Are Available at Mark W. Wilhelm, DMD, MSD?
Fixed Bridge – This is made of two crowns with a fake tooth bonded between them. The crowns will go over teeth on either side of the gap in your smile and anchor the bridge into your dental arch.
Implant-Supported Bridge – This type of dental bridge is for people who have lost three or more teeth from their smile. You will have dental implants placed into the gap in your smile, and the bridge is then secured onto the implants.