Dental Crowns in Greensboro, NC
Dental crowns are very versatile dental prosthetic devices used to treat a range of issues. Your Greensboro, NC dentist, Dr. Michelle H. Mottinger, DDS, explains how crowns can improve your smile.
Crowns protect teeth
If you develop chip or crack in your tooth, you risk breaking that tooth every time you bite or chew. Getting crowns from your Columbia dentist protects fragile teeth and prevents breakage. If your tooth has already broken, a crown protects the remnants of the tooth and restores your ability to chew normally. Because a crown covers your tooth completely, it offers an excellent way to strengthen and stabilize damaged teeth. Crowns are often recommended after you have a large filling or have undergone root canal treatment because teeth may become more fragile and likely to break after these treatments if they're not protected.
Crowns improve the appearance of teeth
Crowns not only protect damaged teeth, but can also improve the appearance of your teeth. Tetracycline treatment or a large filling can change the color of a tooth. Although teeth whitening treatment can lighten your other teeth, it won't have any effect if the discoloration is caused by one of these issues. Since crowns encase your teeth, they cover the cause of the discoloration very effectively.
Crowns can also be used to make your teeth look more uniform if one of your teeth is unusually small or crooked, or if a tooth has an unusual shape. If a cosmetic issue makes you feel embarrassed to open your mouth, a crown can help restore your self-confidence.
Crowns offer a natural-looking cosmetic dentistry option
Crowns are often made with porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal. Porcelain is an excellent choice because it's not only strong, but is also translucent, which means it looks just like your tooth enamel. Crowns can also be made of other materials, including ceramic, resin, nickel or gold alloy.
Creating a Bridge
Crowns can also be used to create a lifelike replacement for a missing tooth. This is done with bridgework, which spans the space of the missing tooth and requires at least three crowns. Two of those crowns will be placed over healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth; these healthy teeth are referred to as abutment teeth. The two crowned abutment teeth become supports for a third crown placed in between them; that third crown is referred to as a pontic. If more than one tooth is missing, more crowns will be needed to bridge the gap in between the abutment teeth.
The number of abutment teeth necessary to replace missing teeth is influenced by the number of missing teeth, the size and length of the abutment tooth roots, the amount of bone support each abutment tooth has, as well as where in the mouth the missing tooth is located. For example, if you have three missing teeth, four abutment teeth may be necessary, thereby creating a seven-tooth bridge. Engineering and designing of the bridge requires an understanding of how to replace teeth, as well as the biology of the supporting gum and bone tissue.
Caring for Your Crowns & Bridges
Crowns and bridgework require the same conscientious care as your natural teeth. Be sure to brush and floss between all of your teeth — restored and natural — every day to reduce the buildup of dental plaque. When you have crowns, it is even more important to maintain your regular schedule of cleanings at the dental office. Avoid using your teeth as tools (to open packages, for example). If you have a grinding habit, wearing a nightguard would be a good idea to protect your teeth and your investment.
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