Crowns & Bridgework

If you have dental issues like missing teeth, badly cracked and damaged teeth, or even severe tooth decay, it may feel like your smile is incomplete, or isn’t what it should be. Here at Maplewood Dental Associates, we believe your smile should be something that you’re proud of and brightens up your day when you look in the mirror. That’s why we offer restorative dental care for the families of St. Paul, Maplewood, and the surrounding communities returning smiles to a healthier, more radiant state.

Here at our dental practice, our team of doctors and dental staff are committed to providing the best in dental care to all of our patients. To accomplish that goal, we use only the most advanced treatment technology, ensuring that every patient gets the best smile possible. When it comes to restoring smiles, dental crowns and bridges are a reliable solution that can restore a smile over the course of just a few appointments with us at our Maplewood, MN office. To learn more about crowns and bridges and see if they are right for you, check out the information below.

What Is A Dental Crown?

Also commonly referred to as “dental caps”, crowns are a covering that is designed to fit snugly and comfortably over a damaged or decayed tooth. Typically, crowns are the go-to smile restoration solution if a tooth has lost a significant portion of its structure since the covering will help preserve the healthy portion of the tooth that remains. The crown will cover the tooth all the way down to the gum line, preventing further damage or decay to the tooth, while also creating a realistic-looking tooth replacement that blends with the rest of your smile. Depending on the type of material used for the crown, it can even be made to look and feel like a natural tooth, making your smile look even better than before.

While crowns are typically made from porcelain to create the most lifelike tooth feel and appearance, we can create crowns using other materials based on patient needs and preferences. These other materials include gold, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), and all-porcelain with zirconia. These other materials are used to provide greater durability or improve appearance.

unnamed-1How Does Getting A Dental Crown Work?

To start the process of getting a crown, you would first need to schedule an appointment with your dentist for a consultation. Once your doctor has assessed the health of the damaged or decayed tooth and determined that it will need a crown, they will prepare the tooth for getting the crown. This consists of shaving away and dead or decayed tooth, leaving the healthy tooth intact so it can provide support for the crown. Once the tooth is prepped, there are two different paths that patients can choose from to complete their smile restoration.

The first option is for us to take impressions of your smile and send them off to a third party lab that will craft your new crown. Unfortunately, the process for the lab to create that crown takes time, meaning that we will need to provide you with a temporary crown for the time being. When the crown is completed, you will come in for a second visit with your dentist and they will place the permanent crown. While it is rare, sometimes the permanent crown will need to be adjusted, which will require a third visit to finally get your new smile.

Our other, more convenient option is same-day crowns. CEREC is a type of advanced crown creation technology that allows us to create your crowns right in our office. About 90% of our patients choose to pursue this option because it requires a single visit to your Maplewood dentist, instead of waiting for your crown to be done over 2 to 3 visits. During this visit, we will prepare your tooth for crown installation, take a digital impression for your tooth, create the crown right then and there, and place the crown. This entire process typically takes one and a half to two hours, making for a fast and efficient visit. With CEREC same-day crowns, you’ll have your new smile just like that!

What Are Dental Bridges & How Do They Work?

Similar to crowns, a bridge is a special type of dental appliance that is designed to act as a tooth replacement. However, bridges are more commonly used for patients missing teeth, since the bridge is made to literally bridge the gap left by those missing teeth. Bridges are actually made from three or more dental crowns, with the crowns at each end of the bridge attaching to a healthy tooth, also called an “abutment tooth”. By attaching to the healthy teeth, those crowns then act as a support for the single or multiple crowns that are placed along the gap. In some cases, patients may need to have additional abutment teeth to effectively support the bridge.

How To Properly Care For Dental Crowns & Bridges

Crowns and bridgework are designed to look, feel, and function like your natural teeth, but they can also accumulate bacteria and plaque-like your natural teeth too. That means that keeping your crown or bridge clean and free from that bacteria is essential, especially if you don’t want any other teeth to decay or to develop gum disease.

The good news is that you can clean them the same way as you would the rest of your smile. Just make sure you maintain a thorough and consistent oral hygiene routine, complete with brushing, flossing, and rinsing after each meal or at least twice each day. Also, don’t forget to come to your regularly scheduled dental cleanings with us at Maplewood Dental Associates to make sure that your smile is flawless. For those with oral habits like teeth grinding, we recommend getting a night guard to wear while you sleep, preventing damage to your crown, bridge, and natural teeth.

unnamed-7Contact Your Maplewood Dental Office Today!

Do you have any questions about dental crowns, bridges, or any of the other dental services that we offer here at Maplewood Dental Associates? Just contact us to speak with a member of our dental staff, who will be more than happy to help you get the answers and information you need. If your smile feels incomplete, dental crowns or bridges may be the perfect solution for you. Just schedule a consultation with us, and we’ll work with you to create a personalized dental treatment plan that will get you the perfect, healthy, radiant smile you deserve. We look forward to seeing you in our Maplewood, MN office soon!

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