Dr. Derek Conover is a leading dentist in Philadelphia for cosmetic and restorative dentistry. We offer a variety of treatment options, including dental crowns and bridges to improve your appearance and restore worn, broken, and missing teeth. Tooth crowns and bridges are two restorative dentistry treatments that address both function and aesthetics after tooth damage or loss. Dr. Conover provides comprehensive care with meticulous planning and works with the leading U.S. dental laboratories to create natural-looking restorations.
What is a dental crown?
Dental crowns (sometimes called a cap) are placed to protect a tooth after decay, damage, a root canal, or as part of a dental implant. We can use them to strengthen a damaged tooth that has a crack, stains or discoloration, decay, or is worn down from teeth grinding.
Dentists make crowns from different materials, but they mainly fall into three types.
1. Metal- Alloys can have a high content of gold or platinum or be base-metal alloys (for example, cobalt-chromium and nickel-chromium alloys).
2. Porcelain fused to metal- This includes a metal under-casting and a porcelain outer casing.
3. All Porcelain Ceramic- There are scores of different ceramic types varying in strength and translucency. A good restorative dentist will know which materials create the best esthetic and functional result for each individual patient’s smile and bite.
Ceramic crowns are metal-free and are the gold standard for creating a beautiful, natural-looking appearance. Ceramic crowns won’t discolor along the gum area like crowns containing metal can.
Placing a Dental Crown: What to Expect
Many patients avoid dentists because they fear dental treatment will be painful and complicated. The process of placing dental crowns on teeth is actually quite simple when done with careful diagnosis and good planning.
Comprehensive Evaluation: The first step in the process of creating crowns for teeth is a comprehensive evaluation with Dr. Conover. He will examine your teeth, gums, jaw joints, bite and smile, carefully looking for signs of stress, disease, instability, or esthetic concerns.
Using diagnostic x-rays, photos, and models of your mouth, we will gain a clear picture of the condition of your situation. From this data, we will determine what we need to address any health, functional, or esthetic concerns before and during treatment.
Treatment Planning: Dr. Doray believes the treatment plan is the most important aspect of cosmetic and restorative dentistry to ensure long-term success. The treatment plan is basically a set of blueprints that will set the path for the restorative procedure. It may include digital imaging, 2-D, and 3-D models. We love to involve patients in this process.
Once we have made a personalized treatment plan that the patient accepts, we then create a custom sequence of treatment visits based on the patient’s preferences (i.e. longer or shorter visits, more frequent or spread out visits, their timeline for completing treatment, etc).
The goal is to achieve the optimal outcome in the most comfortable and efficient manner possible. Dentistry in our office is virtually pain-free and we aim to make the experience as pleasant as possible.
Provisional Restoration: Once we finalize the treatment plan for crowns and bridges, Dr. Conover will create a provisional restoration, that is a temporary crown or bridge, so you can wear it while we wait for the final dental restoration from the dental laboratory. The temporary will give you an opportunity to make sure you are happy with the look, feel and function of the restoration, as well as provide temporary protection to the tooth.
Final Restoration: The final step in the process is the delivery of your crown or bridge. At this point, the restoration is tried on, the fit, function, and esthetics are assessed, and then the restoration is cemented or bonded in place.
Dental Crowns: Before & After Photos
Dental Crown FAQs
How long do they last?
Crowns are made from porcelain, ceramic, composite resins, or a combination. Porcelain is the strongest material. Composite resins are much cheaper than porcelain but not as strong or lasting. Both types of crowns can last anywhere from 10-15 years depending on how well maintained they are, and the type of material we use.
Do I need a dental crown?
If your tooth has severe damage, then a crown may be necessary. We recommend dental crowns if your tooth is broken or cracked, but not necessarily if there’s minor damage or decay. We will recommend the most appropriate treatment option for your needs after an exam and diagnostics.
Can I get them done if my teeth are healthy?
Yes. You can get your crowns done even if your teeth are healthy. However, we recommend getting them done before any decay occurs. If you wait until after the damage is done, it may be difficult to save the tooth.
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a series of dental crowns that are linked together to replace missing teeth or to stabilize weaker teeth. A dental bridge can either be removable or fixed and made from a variety of tooth-like materials.
Types of bridgework
Removable Dental Bridge – We generally reserve these as a temporary or interim solution for missing teeth. There are various options, such as a flipper tooth for plastic flexible partial. The cost may be much less than a fixed dental bridge, but a removable dental bridge does not offer good long-term benefits.
Fixed Dental Bridge – In this type of restoration, we link one or more prosthetic teeth together and support them with dental crowns that cover the teeth on either side of the gap. A caveat to this type of bridge is that it requires a significant reduction of adjacent teeth to ensure a solid foundation for the dental bridge.
Implant Supported Restorations- dental implants and implant-supported bridges are an option to replace either a single missing tooth or for multiple missing teeth or even to replace all the teeth in an arch. Implants offer the most stable and naturally functioning results and key benefits for your long term oral health and wellness.
Dental Bridge vs. Dental Implant
Implant supported restorations are an excellent alternative to a fixed dental bridge for replacing missing teeth. For a single missing tooth, an implant crown is a single tooth solution for a single tooth problem. Unlike with a conventional bridge, we do not have to file down the adjacent teeth to attach crowns.
An implant support bridge is an option for multiple missing teeth as well. In this case, we support the bridge by using dental implants rather than natural teeth. Again this option preserves the healthy adjacent natural teeth. It also provides a more stable restoration that will last longer.
Dr. Conover will consider several things when making the recommendation for a dental bridge versus a dental implant. First, she’ll assess the health of your surrounding teeth and bone structure. It is important to have a solid foundation for dental implants to be successful.
Cost is sometimes a factor for patients with missing teeth. While dental implants generally do cost more than a dental bridge, they offer better long-term results and generally require less repair and maintenance.
Dental Bridge FAQs
How do I know if my teeth need a bridge?
You should consider getting a dental bridge if you have lost several teeth due to decay or trauma. If you don’t have any missing teeth but still feel like you could use some extra protection, you might want to consider getting a partial denture instead.
Do I need to get a full set of replacement teeth before getting a dental bridge?
No, you do not need to have a full set of replacement dentures before getting a dental bridge. You only need to replace a few teeth at once.
How long do I have to wait before getting my dental bridge?
You can get your dental bridge immediately after your dentist removes the damaged teeth. You may need to wear a temporary bridge until your new one arrives.
Will my dentist remove my teeth first?
No. Your dentist will ensure your teeth are healthy enough to hold the dental bridge. If your teeth aren’t strong enough, we will often recommend replacing them with implants instead.