Most people are aware that the number one way to avoid extra trips to the dentist for restorative procedures is to practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily. But even the most conscientious of dental patients are occasionally faced with issues such as tooth decay, trauma that leads to tooth loss, or cosmetic issues such as permanent discoloration or chips and cracks. When these issues crop up, Dr. Stephen Matarazzo in Quincy, MA is here to help! With a variety of tooth restoration options available, including dental crowns and bridges, as well as same-day treatment for a patient suffering dental emergencies, Dr. Matarazzo’s office can help you get your old smile back as quickly as possible.
When a dental crown or bridge is needed
When a tooth has suffered trauma or has extensive decay, a simple filling may not be sufficient to address the issue at hand. Instead, Dr. Matarazzo may recommend a more robust tooth restoration option, such as a dental crown or bridge. Also known as a “tooth cap,” a crown covers your natural tooth, whereas a bridge usually consists of two crowns with a false tooth between them to “bridge the gap” due to a missing tooth.
Dental crowns or bridges are commonly necessary after the following types of issues have occurred with teeth:
- A root canal has been performed to remove infected material from the pulp chamber of the tooth. After a root canal, a dental crown is typically necessary to protect the tooth from further damage and restore function to the tooth, such as biting and chewing.
- A tooth has extensive decay and would require too large of a filling that would compromise the tooth’s function and put it at risk of further decay. In this case, the dentist can remove the decayed material and place a crown over the remaining tooth.
- A significant chip or crack has occurred in the tooth. When this happens, simpler procedures such as dental bonding often cannot be used to repair the tooth because the integrity of the tooth has been compromised and the tooth is too weak. In this case, a dental crown may be recommended.
- There is a cosmetic issue with the tooth that can’t be addressed with other options such as bonding. If a tooth is significantly discolored, misshapen, or too small in comparison to other teeth, a crown can be a good option for improving the appearance of the tooth in some cases.
- A tooth is lost due to trauma or decay. When this happens, there are a few options for replacing the missing tooth. The most common options for replacing a single tooth that is missing are dental bridges and dental implants. A dental bridge typically consists of a false tooth that is anchored in place by placing crowns on the two adjacent healthy teeth, whereas a dental implant is a post that is surgically placed in your jaw bone to serve as a “tooth root” for the lost tooth, and then a crown is placed on top to replace the actual tooth.
How a crown or bridge is placed
The process to get a dental crown or bridge placed typically consists of two appointments after an initial consultation to determine the best treatment plan. The first visit is typically the longer of the two appointments. In this visit, the following steps will be taken:
- The teeth that will have crowns placed are filed down by the dentist so that they are the proper shape and size to receive the crown; otherwise, they would become too large and bulky once the crown is placed
- Impressions of the teeth are taken so that the crowns can be fabricated to look like your existing teeth in both shape and size for a seamless appearance
- The dentist places temporary crowns on the prepared teeth to protect them and help reduce sensitivity that you would otherwise experience due to the shaping of the teeth
Then, the crowns or bridge will be custom-created in a laboratory based on the dentist’s specifications and dental impressions that were taken. When the restoration is ready, you will come back to Dr. Matarazzo’s office for your second appointment. At this time, any temporary crowns will be removed from your teeth and your new crown or bridge will be placed on your teeth. After the dentist checks it over in your mouth and you are both happy with the fit and feel, he will attach it with a permanent adhesive, and you can begin enjoying the benefits of your new restored smile!
Learn more in a consultation
If you have been suffering from a painful or broken tooth or have an old crown or bridge that needs to be replaced, there is no need to delay any longer. At the dental practice of Dr. Stephen Matarazzo, you will find compassionate, thorough care that is completely focused on you, the patient. The whole team of professionals at Dr. Matarazzo’s office is here to give patients hope when they are faced with dental issues, and we love to see our patients’ beautiful, restored smiles!
Whether you are a new or existing patient in the Quincy, MA area or surrounding communities, you are welcome to schedule an appointment today at (617) 405-3939.