Crowns and Bridges
Dental Crowns for Back Teeth
A crown covers and protects teeth.
The tooth on the left had the entire front half break off leaving the silver filling in tact. The photograph on the right is the
tooth after it was repaired. Crowns are a two-step process. In the first appointment, a temporary crown is placed while the
final crown is being fabricated. Dental crowns are made at a dental laboratory by skilled technicians to make the restoration
customized to your mouth. The second appointment involves bonding the final crown to your tooth.
Teeth with large fillings are more likely to
break. Dental Crowns can strengthen those
The teeth on the right were very weak and close to
breaking; we restored the teeth before the break
occurred. Doing crowns before teeth break may violate
the old rule of: "If it's not broke, don't fix it". But when it
comes to body parts like your teeth, it is always really
nice to address an impending disaster before it causes
pain or a ruined night out at a restaurant.
Crowns can be three different materials.
Gold, the strongest and longest lasting of the three.
Yes, gold is old-fashioned and not pretty. However, did you know that when
dentists have their own teeth fixed, that they almost always pick gold when it
comes to fixing back teeth. It is because we've seen gold restorations out-perform
and out-last even the most modern porcelain work. Now I wouldn't put a gold
crown on my front tooth, but if you have a tooth that just isn't seen by anyone
except your dentist, consider gold. You won't regret it.
Porcelain fused to metal, long lasting and good aesthetics.
Not all crowns are created equal! When you are getting a dental crown, it is often
made by a dental laboratory, and much like anything in life, there are economy
choices, and luxury choices. Different laboratories charge dentists different
amounts based upon the quality of materials that they use to fabricate your crown,
and their experience in making them. This is why when you are comparing dental
fees, you should make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Crowns from an
experienced dental laboratory will use proven, well-made materials and go through
extra quality checks to make sure your crown fits properly and will last a long time.
Crowns that are made at discount laboratories (some of which are in China) may
use cheaper materials, and do not take these same steps to ensure quality. Using an
experienced dental laboratory costs more, but at Meiners Dentistry our relationships
with excellent dental laboratories ensure you receive the best crown you can.
Ceramic crowns provide maximum aesthetics and appear very life-like. But are not as strong as metal based dental crowns.
If, for a variety of reasons, you've lost a tooth, there are a few different ways to replace that tooth in your mouth.
In the case of a missing front tooth, most people would definitely like to have a replacement in order to complete their smile.
However, when it comes to back teeth, some people ask the question "Why do I need a replacement tooth? I can still chew
well and no one can see back there."
Good question, and let's answer that before we talk about dental bridges.
When you have a tooth removed (not wisdom teeth or a very back molar), the teeth that surrounded that tooth can then
begin to shift and drift out of the position they were in before being removed.
This can lead to collapse of your normal bite, loss of additional teeth, and increased tooth decay in these now "hard to
One solution for that is what is called a "dental bridge"
It is called a "bridge" because it uses the teeth on either side
of the missing tooth (or in many cases, more than one
tooth) to support an additional tooth. Just like a real-life
bridge uses two side of land to support a roadway over the
water, or "missing land." A bridge utilizes dental crowns
bonded to your teeth that are fused together in one cohesive
piece to provide a replacement for the missing tooth.
At the left, you can see what a bridge looks like outside of the
mouth before we put it into the mouth. Beautiful porcelain
replicates the color and shape of your current teeth. You can see
in the x-ray how the middle tooth is missing and how it will be
Another benefit to bridges is that if you have weak teeth with
large fillings on either side of the missing tooth, they will be
strengthened and beautified at the same time!
At the left, is an example of a dental bridge
bonded into the mouth. This will stabilize
the teeth in front of and behind the missing
tooth so that they don't shift or move, and
will provide a better surface on this side of
the mouth to chew with.
Dental Bridges can also be used to replace
missing front teeth as well.
Below, is a picture of a person who lost a
canine (eye) tooth on the right side of their
mouth (the left side of this photo). They
were also concerned about the discolored
teeth in the front of their mouth. A dental
bridge spanned over 5 teeth to give them an
entire new look! Amazing!
Unfortunate accidents happen, and in the case shown below, this person was in a car accident and lost 6 front teeth. They
had a dental bridge placed many years ago, but over time it wore out and began to break down. She was very adament
about wanting non-removeable teeth in her mouth so that she would have confidence chewing, so with a combination of
dental implants and dental bridge technology, a bridge spanning over 10 teeth was made to restore her smile.