Dr. Pamela Doray is one of the most sought after dentists in Philadelphia for cosmetic and restorative dentistry. We offer a variety of treatment options including crowns and bridges to improve your appearance or to restore worn, broken and missing teeth. Dr. Doray provides comprehensive care with meticulous planning and works with the leading U.S. dental laboratories to create natural looking restorations.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown (sometimes called a cap) is used to improve the appearance of your smile and/or to add strength to a tooth that is cracked, discolored, decayed or otherwise worn. A dental crown is also the restorative portion of a dental implant.
Crowns may be made from different materials but they mainly fall into three types.
1. Metal- Alloys can have a high content of gold or platinum, or be base-metal alloys (for example, cobalt-chromium and nickel-chromium alloys).
2. Porcelain fused to metal- This includes a metal under-casting and a porcelain outer casing.
3. All Porcelain Ceramic- There are scores of different ceramic types varying in strength and translucency. A good restorative dentist will know which materials create the best esthetic and functional result for each individual patient’s smile and bite.
Ceramic crowns are metal-free and are the gold standard for creating a beautiful, natural looking appearance. Ceramic crowns won’t discolor along the gum area like crowns containing metal can.
What to Expect
Many patients avoid the dentist because they fear dental treatment will be painful and complicated. The process for placing crowns on teeth is actually quite simple when done with careful diagnosis and good planning.
The first step in the process of creating crowns for teeth is a comprehensive evaluation with Dr. Doray. She will examine your teeth, gums, jaw joints, bite and smile, carefully looking for signs of stress, disease, instability or esthetic concerns. Using diagnostic x-rays, photos and models of your mouth she will gain a clear picture of the condition of your situation and what is needed to address any health, functional or esthetic concerns during treatment.
Dr. Doray believes the treatment plan is the most important aspect of cosmetic and restorative dentistry to ensure long term success. The treatment plan is basically a set of blue prints which will set the path for the restorative procedure. Patients are involved in this process which may include digital imaging, 2-D and 3-D models.
Once we have made a personalized treatment plan that the patient accepts, we then create a sequence of treatment visits tailored to the patient’s preferences (i.e. longer or shorter visits, more frequent or spread out visits, their timeline for completing treatment, etc.) Regardless of how treatment is sequenced, the goal is to achieve the optimal outcome in the most comfortable and efficient manner possible. Dentistry in our office is virtually pain free and we aim to make the experience as pleasant as we can.
Once the treatment plan is finalized for crowns and bridges, Dr. Doray will create a provisional restoration, that is a temporary crown or bridge, to be worn while the final dental restoration is being created in a dental laboratory. The temporary will give you an opportunity to make sure you are happy with the look, feel and function of the proposed restoration as well as provide temporary protection to the tooth.
The final step in the process is the delivery of your crown or bridge. At this point the restoration is tried in, the fit, function and esthetics are assessed, and then the restoration is cemented or bonded in place.
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a series of dental crowns that are linked together to replace missing teeth or to stabilize weaker teeth. A dental bridge can either be removable or fixed and made from a variety of tooth-like materials.
Types of bridgework
Removable Dental Bridge – These are generally reserved as a temporary or interim solution for missing teeth. There are various options such as a flipper tooth for plastic flexible partial. The cost may be much less than a fixed dental bridge, but a removable dental bridge does not offer good long term benefits.
Fixed Dental Bridge – In this type of restoration, one or more prosthetic teeth are linked together and supported by dental crowns which cover the teeth on either side of the gap. A caveat to this type of a bridge is that it requires aggressive reduction of adjacent teeth to ensure a solid foundation for the dental bridge.
Implant Supported Restorations are an option to replace either a single missing tooth or for multiple missing teeth or even to replace all the teeth in an arch.
Dental Bridge vs. Dental Implant
Implant supported restorations are an excellent alternative to a fixed dental bridge for replacing missing teeth. For a single missing tooth an implant crown is a single tooth solution for a single tooth problem. Unlike with a conventional bridge the adjacent teeth do not have to be reduced for crowns.
An implant support bridge is an option for multiple missing teeth as well. In this case the bridge is supported by dental implants rather than natural teeth. Again this option preserves the healthy adjacent natural teeth. It also provides a more stable restoration that will last longer.
Dr. Doray will consider several things when making the recommendation for a dental bridge versus a dental implant. First, she’ll assess the health of your surrounding teeth and bone structure. It is important to have a solid foundation for dental implants to be successful.
Cost is sometimes a factor for patients with missing teeth. While dental implants generally do cost more than a dental bridge, they offer better long term results and generally require less repair and maintenance.