Crowns are full coverage restorations that offer great strength and a look great. A crown covers the entire tooth above the gum line and offer much more strength than a filling. The common indications for placing a crown are the need for strength after a root canal or a large piece of tooth has broken away, cracked teeth in some situations, or the desire to give the appearance of a properly positioned tooth such as a rotated tooth given the appearance of being straight. Sometimes crowns are used to close open spaces. Crowns are used many times as part of an overall treatment plan to address severely worn teeth to restore length and function and esthetics.
There are several materials that can be used to make crowns. Originally, gold was the most commonly used material. It is very biocompatible and durable. Although it is still used in some cases today, the desire for more natural looking materials has lead to porcelain ceramic crowns which are tooth colored. The porcelain crowns made with a metal substructure have been around for several decades. The appearance was a substantial benefit over gold. A drawback can be a black line near the junction between the crown and the tooth beyond it. Many times, the gum tissue hides this initially but alter recedes exposing the margin. This can be an esthetic issue depending on lip lines during smiling and the front teeth. The state of the art for esthetics today are the pressed ceramics. They have great strength without any metal substructure. The esthetics are great and very natural. If a crown is being recommended, the proper materials will be discussed to make sure the best outcome is achieved for the patient.
Bridges are an option used to replace a missing tooth or teeth in a way that is fixed into place and does not require daily removal to clean. They are an option to consider along with dental implants and removable partial dentures for this purpose.
Bridges are comfortable and lifelike. A bridge requires teeth on each side of the space created by the missing tooth or teeth. These teeth are used to attach the bridge and require learning proper technique to maintain. There are several materials that are used to make a bridge from gold. Porcelain fused to metal, and all ceramic. The best option depends on the location in the mouth and the load forces it has to endure.
It is important to replace missing teeth to prevent the shifting of teeth in the same arch as the missing tooth as well as shifting that can occur in the teeth in the opposing arch. When shifting occurs it can create jaw joint and muscle pain and loss of function and comfort when chewing.
Dentures/ Partial Dentures / Over Dentures
Dentures are a way to replace many teeth in an economical manner. Full dentures replace an entire arch of all upper or lower teeth. The often are the result of poor dental health leading up to this option where there are not adequate healthy teeth that can remain.
Dentures may be placed immediately, the same day the teeth are extracted or after healing has taken place. The advantages of placing dentures immediately is so that the patient is never without teeth. When the dentures are placed immediately there is typically more adjusting that takes place as the underlying bone heals. At the end of the healing period, immediate dentures usually require a reline to compensate for the changes in the jaw that result from the healing process. This is the most common way a new denture wearer elects to go.
If we wait for healing to take place, there is about six-months time required. Most patients find this unacceptable to be without teeth for many reasons. It is important to note that with denture either immediate or after healing, it is physically impossible to generate the same amount of biting force as with natural teeth. Complete dentures result in the gradual loss of jaw bone over time. There are many factors that we consider when estimating the success a patient will have with dentures, such as the amount of bone present at the ridge where a denture rests, shape of the palate in the upper arch, and the relationship of the upper arch to the lower arch. We can’t create a perfect bite if the upper and lower jaws do not line up properly.
Partial dentures differ from full dentures in that there are some natural teeth that hold in the artificial teeth. These natural teeth have clasps attached to them from the partial denture that retain the partial denture in place. Partial dentures tend to be more stable than full dentures. This is an economical way to replace multiple teeth in a single arch, either upper or lower, at one time. We encourage patients to consider this option when possible especially for lower teeth as a lower complete denture can be hard to adjust to. The partial denture in almost all cases is more stable.
Over dentures are much like full dentures in that they replace all of the teeth in either the upper or lower arch. The difference is that either teeth are kept and reduced in height for a denture to fit over them or implants are placed. Attachments are placed into the teeth or onto the implants and inside the denture that essentially allows the denture to “snap” onto the teeth or implants affording additional retention and security during function. Typically, two teeth are saved that have adequate bone support or two implants placed. The advantage of this approach is roots or implants preserve jaw bone. It is less costly than doing a fixed replacement on top of four to six implants, what is commonly referred to the teeth in a day approach. With over dentures the dentures are still able to be removed for cleaning.
Contact Us Today!
New patients are always welcome to stop by our office to meet our team or schedule an appointment by calling 815-385-0777. Advanced dental equipment, the experience of our Dentist Dr. James A. Hasken, and the skills of our staff have helped us in successfully treating oral problems in many of our patients who visit us from different parts of McHenry and Crystal Lake.