Crowns, Onlays & Bridges

A dental crown may be the right choice for a tooth that is misshaped, decayed, severely

discolored, worn down, cracked, or broken.  Often the damage to a tooth is too large for a filling to be the appropriate treatment option.  In other words, a filling will not adequately restore and protect the tooth for the best long term outcome.  This is when a crown is the next best

treatment option.  We will evaluate the condition of the tooth/teeth involved and determine the most conservative manner in which to treat the tooth.  Often times, only a portion of the tooth is compromised, in which case an onlay, or partial

crown, can be placed.  If appropriate, an onlay is a much more conservative alternative to a full crown because only the portions of the tooth involved are incorporated into the design of the restoration so more of your natural tooth structure is conserved.  If, on the other hand, the majority of the tooth is compromised or the damage is too great, a full coverage crown will be placed.  We will carefully and thoroughly examine the tooth/teeth involved and determine the best treatment option for you.

A bridge is a good treatment choice if you are missing one or more teeth.  They are done the same way a crown is done but instead of being just a single unit it typically “bridges” a series of at least 3 teeth.  The teeth both in front of and in back of the missing tooth need to be involved in order to restore the missing tooth.

The Process

A crown, onlay, or bridge typically takes 2 visits to our office.  During the first visit, we numb the area and removed the damaged areas of the tooth.  We build the tooth back up or trim it as necessary, then we will take an impression (mold) of the area.  We then send this to one of our carefully chosen laboratories where your restoration is made to fit exactly to your tooth.  We will send you home with a temporary crown until your permanent crown is made.

On the second visit, we try in the crown and make any necessary adjustments to it to make it fit precisely on your tooth.  We then use a series of agents to permanently cement the restoration onto your tooth.  You can rest assured that not only will we make certain that it fits seamlessly, but it will feel and look just like your natural teeth.

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