dentistry, crown and bridge (Restorative Dentistry) refers to the
of natural teeth that have been damaged, decayed or lost. Once your dentist
has examined your teeth and has evaluated your dental and medical history,
he/she will be ready to provide a diagnosis, and treatment options. A crown
may be constructed to restore an individual damaged tooth back to it's
original form and function, while a bridge may be utilized to replace one
or more teeth. These restorations are cemented onto the teeth and are referred
to as "fixed" dentistry as opposed to a restoration of missing teeth with
a removable appliance or partial denture..
is fabricated using an indirect procedure.
The tooth is modified and prepared by using special insturments and a copy
of the tooth preparation is made is made by taking an impression
The crown is then "permanently" cemented onto your tooth preparation.
A fixed bridge refers to a prosthesis
that will span the area of a missing tooth, known as a pontic. The procedure
involves a local anesthetic and the preparation of two or more abutment
teeth. Once this has been accomplished, an impression is made and sent
to the dental laboratory for fabrication of your new tooth. This procedure
will take five to ten days and will encompass two to four appointments.
(A crown procedure takes two to three office visits.)
The following is a
brief description of how a crown will be made:
After the final fabrication
phases have been completed, the finished crown is returned to your dentist
to be checked for correct fit. Once all final adjustments have been made,
your restoration is permanently cemented.
Upon arriving to the
laboratory, your impression is cleaned (sterilized).
Powdered stone is mixed
with water and poured into your impression, which once set hardens into
a stone cast of your upper/lower teeth. The casts are connected on an apparatus
called an articulator that mimics
your jaw motion.
Using a bunsen burner,
the dental technician melts wax and applies it to the prepped tooth stump.
This process is called fabricating a coping or framework (if a bridge)
which supports the tooth colored material called porcelain. The wax coping
is invested in high heat stone, burned out in an oven and cast into metal.
This is a similar procedure that a jeweler might use when making a ring.
After the metal has been
cast, the technician will use a variety of high and slow speed drills to
contour the metal.
The metal is then ready
to be prepared to receive porcelain.
Since porcelain is very clear, the silver gray colored metal needs to be
masked out. This procedure is referred to as opaquing, or masking
out the metal.
Porcelain powder is mixed
with water and applied by brush to the opaqued metal understucture. By
using the casts that have been joined, the dental technician will be able
to reproduce a lifelike copy of the original tooth.
The porcelain build-up
is fired in a ceramic oven at 1800 degrees. Using various diamond and carbide
drills, the final contours are established.
restoration is then colored to the patients specific shade and glazed to
render an enamel-like finish.
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A. Greene, DDS-FAGD
Birdcreek Terrace Temple, TX 76502 254.773.9007 | Fax 254.773.8051
A. Greene, DDS-FAGD | Online since 1996 | Updated Continuously