Crowns And Bridges

Progressive Dental Care

Alka Mahajan, DMD

General and Cosmetic Dentistry & General and Cosmetic Dentistry located in Fairfax, VA

Are you considering a dental crown or bridge to replace severely decayed or missing teeth? Crown or bridge treatment may be the right choice for you as it results in healthy, normal looking teeth that can blend seamlessly with the rest of your smile. In fact, an astounding 15 million Americans have crowns to replace decayed teeth, reports the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. As a specialist in restorative and cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Alka Mahajan, DMD, of Progressive Dental Care excels at crown preparation and restoration. If you are in need and think you are a good candidate for a crown or bridge, book an appointment online at the Fairfax, Virginia, dental office or call today.

Crowns and Bridges Q & A

What is a crown?

A dental crown is also called a "cap." It's placed on top of a damaged tooth. It is sculpted to the shape of the original tooth and can enhance its strength and appearance. The crown fits over the tooth and is cemented into place so that the original tooth is completely encased.

Why would I need a crown?

Dr. Mahajan may suggest a crown for many reasons. A crown can cover a dental implant or stained or worn tooth.

In addition to making a natural tooth look better, a crown can provide support to a tooth. Crowns can strengthen teeth that have been weakened by excessively large fillings or that are in danger of breaking.

Whether you need a crown for cosmetic reasons or to strengthen weakened or broken teeth, a dental crown can protect teeth.

What type of crown is best for my teeth?

Crowns can be made from a variety of materials, including:

  • Stainless steel
  • Gold or another alloy
  • Porcelain fused to metal
  • Resin
  • Ceramic

The choice of material depends on multiple factors. For instance, stainless steel is often used to make temporary crowns. It's common for dentists to use prefabricated stainless steel crowns to cap children's baby teeth.

Metal crowns are sturdy and able to tolerate the impact of chewing and biting, but due to their striking color, they're commonly reserved for rear molars.

Porcelain fused to metal crowns are more aesthetically pleasing than stainless steel crowns, but they aren't perfect. For instance, the metal portion of the crown might be visible as a dark line close to the gums, and the opposing teeth might endure more wear than with other types of crowns.

All-ceramic crowns are the best option for men and women with metal allergies. All-resin crowns are cheaper than many other types of crowns, but more susceptible to wear and tear and, therefore, cracking.

What happens when I get a crown?

A majority of the time, a minimum of two appointments is required to complete a dental crown procedure. During the first visit, Dr. Mahajan takes X-rays to evaluate the condition of the tooth in question.

Next, she administers anesthesia to numb the tooth and surrounding tissues. The tooth is built up or filed down so that the crown will fit snugly. Once the tooth has been prepared, Dr. Mahajan makes an impression of your teeth, which a lab will use to manufacture the crown. She then covers your tooth with a temporary crown until the permanent custom crown is finished.

Getting a dental crown can be a simple, easy process. To discuss your crown options, contact Progressive Dental Care or make an appointment online.

What is a bridge and what are the different types?

A bridge is a replacement for missing teeth. There are two types of bridges, removable bridge and fixed bridges, and they are used for different reasons.

Removable Bridge

A removable bridge is also called a denture. Full dentures replace all of your missing teeth, but partial dentures replace a few missing teeth. Made from acrylic resin and various metals, a partial denture relies on surrounding teeth and gum to give it support. To prepare for a removable bridge, Dr. Mahajan takes several impressions of your teeth and may make slight preparations to existing teeth to get the very best fit. Like full dentures, partial dentures are removed from the mouth and cleaned regularly.

Fixed Bridge

A fixed bridge, unlike a removable bridge, is permanent and cannot be removed from the mouth. It uses adjacent tooth structures to replace a missing tooth or teeth. In preparation for a fixed bridge, the two teeth adjacent to each side of the space are prepared, impressions are taken, and a technician designs a perfect-fitting bridge to blend seamlessly with the rest of your smile.

To find out if you are a good candidate for a crown or bridge to replace decayed or missing teeth, call the Progressive Dental Care office or book an appointment online today.

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