Crowns and Bridges in Buffalo, NY
Experienced Buffalo Dentists Providing Affordable Dental Crowns and Bridges in WNY
A dental crown may be recommended when an individual tooth has diminished in size so significantly that no filling can completely restore the tooth to its original shape.
In dentistry, “crown” often refers to the visible part of a tooth above the gum line. Dental crowns, however, are distinct from the crowns of teeth, relating instead to a cap-shaped device that is placed over a damaged tooth to prevent further deterioration. Though dental fillings can often repair the portions of teeth that have been weakened and begun to decay, fillings are not ideal in every situation. A dental crown may be recommended when an individual tooth has diminished in size so significantly that no filling can completely restore the tooth to its original shape. Dental crowns can also serve as an additional means of fixing a cavity, even covering a tooth with a filling in order to better insulate the weakened area and provide cosmetic appeal. When whitening cannot effectively alter the color of a tooth, a dental crown can be placed over the tooth so that it blends in with the adjacent teeth that have responded to bleaching. Dental crowns are inherently adaptable and offer a more permanent fix to chronic issues related to tooth degradation.
Dental crowns are available in a range of materials, including metal alloys, ceramic substances, and amalgams of the two. Crowns made from metallic sources, such as platinum, gold, and alloys of less precious metals, are the most durable of all the available options, but due to their stark colors, these dental crowns are more commonly reserved for installation on the molars and premolars, where they are less visible. Stainless steel dental crowns are similarly strong yet noticeable, but because they are more cost-effective, they are often relegated for use in pediatric dentistry, particularly to preserve deciduous (baby) teeth that have degraded but not yet fallen out of the mouth. Though crowns are long-lasting devices, they are ideal for preserving deciduous teeth, defending them from infection before the permanent teeth have finished developing and erupted (grown in). Dental crowns made from porcelain most easily blend in with other teeth due to the ceramic’s color versatility, and these crowns may be more appropriate for incisors and canines, the teeth at the front of the mouth. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are a happy medium, combining much of the aesthetic appeal of ceramic crowns with the durability of those made from metal, but the porcelain finish can be prone to chipping, and hints of the underlying metal are still visible even after installation.
Another primary use of dental crowns is their role as anchors for dental bridges. Edentulism, the loss of teeth, is a reality for many people, and every lost tooth creates extra strain on those still intact during biting and chewing, threatening the integrity of these teeth. Dental bridges are an effective way not to restore lost teeth but rather to make up for their loss. Once a tooth falls out or is avulsed (forced out of its socket), the gums eventually fill in the space, creating a tender but useful platform on which a bridge can be placed. A dental bridge comprises a false tooth designed specifically to match the appearance of an individual’s teeth, and affixed to the false tooth are one or two wings or crowns that can glued into place over or against the sides of the neighboring teeth, also known as abutment teeth, that will serve as the bridge’s anchors. For a traditional bridge to be installed, the enamel of the abutment teeth must first be filed down. Then, an impression is taken of that region of the mouth, and a bridge is designed. During the follow-up appointment, the crowns of the dental bridge are cemented into place over the abutment teeth, effectively closing the gap where the original tooth once was.