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Dental Crowns & Bridges – Rochester, MN

The Building Blocks of a Renewed Smile

Model smile with fixed bridge restoration

Do you have a cavity or broken tooth that is constantly causing you grief? Do you think twice before smiling because you don’t want people to notice your missing teeth? These are issues we see every day, and we’re able to help these patients reclaim both their bite and their confidence using dental crowns and bridges. Custom-made for each patient to look and function just like the real thing, these restorations are the perfect solution for any degree of dental damage.

What is a Dental Crown?

Dental crown restorations prior to placement

A crown is a dental restoration that covers and supports a tooth or implant to restore it to its normal shape and size. It can also strengthen and improve the appearance of the tooth. Crowns are often referred to as “caps”.

When is a Dental Crown Necessary?

Woman in pain holding cheek

Dental crowns restore the function and integrity to missing, damaged, and/or unsupported tooth structure. A crown may become necessary for a variety of reasons:

  • Caries (AKA “cavities”): After removing decayed tooth structure, there may be limited remaining supported tooth structure. A crown may be necessary to achieve the best long term prognosis.
  • Fractured/Damaged Teeth: Large fracture lines and broken/fractured tooth structure may need a crown to support, protect, and prevent future damage. Preventing progress of cracks with a crown could help to avoid pain and/or additional necessary treatment (i.e. Root canals or Extractions) if fractures progress into the nerve or root structure.
  • Root Canal Treated Teeth: After root canal treatment, the canal/s in the root structure have been cleaned and essentially hollowed out. Usually, these teeth need root canals because they are cracked, broken, traumatized, or have deep cavities. More internal structure has been removed during root canal treatment. Thus, crowns are often recommended to prevent fracture of the remaining tooth structure.
  • Stained, Discolored, Misshaped, and Extremely Worn Teeth: In some cases, crowns will not only provide additional strength and integrity to remaining tooth structure, but they will also provide a cosmetically beautiful result. This may not only improve the esthetics of your smile, but it also can improve your esteem and confidence in everyday life.

*In some cases large fillings may be adequate restorations. However, the larger the filling material in the tooth and the less remaining natural supported tooth structure, the more likely the tooth is to fracture or need additional treatment in the future.

How many Dental Appointments will be Needed for a Dental Crown?

Smiling woman in dental chair

Creating or fabricating a dental crown in Rochester MN usually requires two dental visits.

  • 1st appointment: The dentist prepares the tooth for the crown. This process includes decay removal (if present), re-building the core of the tooth if inadequate structure remains (you can think of this as the foundation for the crown), reducing the tooth to a smaller version of itself to provide adequate room for crown material, taking an impression of the prepared tooth to be sent to a dental laboratory, and fabricating a temporary crown.
  • 2nd appointment*: Try in the permanent crown and make sure everything fits well. Minor adjustments may be necessary. After all parameters for an appropriately fitting crown are confirmed, the crown is cemented or bonded w/ a permanent adhesive material.

*Usually a dental lab needs 2-3 weeks to fabricate a dental crown for optimal results.

What Materials are Used for Dental Crowns?

Model smile with tooth colored restoration

Crowns can be made out of a variety of materials including gold, porcelain fused to a metal substructure, and metal free ceramics. These materials may have advantages and potential drawbacks in different scenarios. Your dentist in Rochester MN will discuss these options and find the best restorative material for your specific wants and needs.

Will a Dental Crown Look Natural?

Woman looking at smile in mirror

Yes. The goal of a dental crown is to mimic the shape and size of an ideal tooth for your mouth. Additionally, besides gold crowns, ceramic and porcelain fused to metal crowns will also be shade matched for your mouth to provide an esthetically pleasing result that blends with your natural teeth. In dentistry today, crowns can be fabricated that look so natural and beautiful that the general public will not be able to tell if you have crowns in your mouth… even with front teeth!

How Should I Care for My Teeth After I Receive a Dental Crown?

Woman putting toothpaste on toothbrush

Crowns cover what you can visually see in your mouth. However, the crown material meets and seals with natural tooth structure near or below the level of the gum tissues. The natural tooth structure is as susceptible to cavities as before the crown. Therefore, treat your crown as a natural tooth. Brush 2x/day, floss 1x/day, and continue regular dental cleanings to prevent cavities or periodontal disease around these crowned teeth.

Contact Gentling Dental Care today for questions on dental crowns in Rochester, MN or to make an appointment.

What is a Dental Bridge?

Model of fixed bridge repaired smile

A dental bridge is one way you can fill in the space where a tooth is missing. A bridge can prevent chewing problems and prevent your teeth from shifting out of place.

A typical bridge requires the dentist to prepare the "abutment" teeth, or the teeth on each side of the space, for crowns. These crowns are attached together with a filler tooth in the middle. Once complete, this bridge structure is bonded into the mouth.

Pros: Fixed bridges are faster and they don't require surgery

Cons: Bridges require removing health tooth structure on the teeth that hold it in. The teeth that hold in the bridge can become decayed or get periodontal disease, resulting in the loss of the entire bridge. Oral hygiene can also be challenging around a bridge - special floss threaders need to be used

Alternatives to bridges include replacing the tooth with an implant, removable partial denture or leaving it "as is."

Dentures, Bridges, or Implants?

Hand holding full denture

Fixed dental bridges or removable dentures are not the only solutions for missing teeth.

Dental implants are a predictable tooth replacement option. Implants can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. They can also be used to anchor in dentures or partials, eliminating unsightly metal clasps.

The doctors at Gentling Dental have extensive advanced training in restoring dental implants. They also use dental implants when creating custom implant-supported dentures and partials.

To discuss all your options, come in for a complimentary restorative consultation and let one of our dentists examine your mouth and determine if a bridge, denture or dental implant is the right option for you.

Dental implant-supported replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural ones. In fact, they’re often indistinguishable from your own natural teeth. You can eat and drink whatever you choose.

Implants are artificial roots and teeth usually surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone. Usually made from titanium, implants provide a "non-removable" alternative to partial or complete dentures. Implants are very strong and durable and will last for many years. On occasion, they need to be tightened or replaced due to normal wear. In this case, the crown and possibly abutment may be lost, but the implant remains solid in the bone.

Why Dental Implants?

Animation of implant supported dental crown

  • Restore missing teeth
  • Improve chewing, speech, and digestion
  • Resolve joint or bite problems
  • Restore smile
  • Support bridge or denture
  • Implants prevent shrinkage of the jawbone, which can cause your face to look older.
  • Preserve healthy tooth structure

Permanent solution. Implants contain no loose parts. They are stable, and no adjustment is required. Normally the implant serves its owner for life.

What Does Getting Dental Implants Involve?

Animation of implant retained dental crown process

The conventional process of getting dental implants requires a number of visits over several months.

First, impressions (molds) and sometimes photos are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing. The implant placement occurs at a specialist's office who has extensive training in placing the implant. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for up to six months.

After you have healed and the implant is fully integrated into the bone (it cannot be unscrewed) we make an impression of the implant(s). These impressions are sent to a dental laboratory where an abutment and crown are made. The abutment is screwed into the implant post and anchors the implant crown to the implant. Typically you do not need to be numb for these visits.

How will I Care for My Dental Implants?

Woman brushing teeth

Good oral hygiene, healthy eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant. As with natural teeth, the new teeth must be cared for and checked regularly.

Contact Gentling Dental to take care of your dental bridges in Rochester MN, or to set up an appointment.