Metal-free crowns and bridges offer a complete, natural-looking alternative to old metal restorations. Dr. Kathy Daroee has been giving residents of Woodland Hills, CA natural-looking restorations since 2000 at Kathy Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Kathy also practices General Dentistry as well.
Metal Free Crowns & Bridges Q & A
What alternatives are available to metal crowns and bridges?
Traditionally, a crown was made in a laboratory out of a metal amalgam that was designed to protect the tooth from further decay or damage. Likewise, a bridge was made of porcelain affixed to metal that provided an artificial tooth “bridge” to fill a space where teeth were missing. While both of these options are still successfully used today, porcelain crowns and porcelain fixed bridges offer patients a more natural-looking smile while maintaining the integrity of the restoration.
How is a porcelain crown placed?
A crown is designed to protect and strengthen a tooth that cannot be fixed with fillings or other tooth restoration procedures. It usually takes two appointments to place a crown. First, several molds of the teeth are taken to create a custom crown that not only fits the tooth but also fits with the other teeth and provides the best biting surface possible. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown to protect the tooth while the permanent crown is made in a dental laboratory. During the patient’s second visit, the tooth will be numbed and Dr. Kathy will ensure the surface of the tooth is thoroughly clean and free from decay. She will also shape the surface to make sure the crown fits properly. Once the permanent crown has been cemented into place, the patient’s bite will be checked to ensure the spacing, placement, and shape is as accurate as possible.
What is involved with having a Porcelain Fixed Bridge placed?
Porcelain Fixed Bridges are non-removable dental appliances that fill gaps left by missing teeth. While traditional bridges are made from porcelain affixed to metal, Porcelain Fixed Bridges require porcelain crowns on two anchoring teeth that are attached to artificial teeth in between. This type of bridge fills the spaces left by missing teeth, prevents the remaining teeth from drifting out of position, and restores a patient’s chewing and speaking ability. Placement usually requires two visits. During the first visit, the anchoring teeth are prepared for crowns and an impression is taken of the mouth and sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge is made. A temporary bridge is also placed until the fixed permanent bridge can be made and placed. On the second visit, the permanent bridge is checked, adjusted, and placed by two porcelain crowns on the anchoring teeth.