Dental Crowns

Crowns are a necessary and beautiful restoration used to strengthen a tooth or improve its shape. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or partially destroyed by tooth decay.

At Valley Hills Dentistry a crown is cemented or bonded onto an existing tooth and fully covers the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns are made of many different materials but are usually either Porcelain, Zirconia, or Lithium Disilicate.

Dental Crown (Before and After)Dr. Shaw will recommend a crown to:

  • Replace a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining
  • Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
  • Restore a fractured tooth
  • Attach a bridge
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
  • Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment

Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength remaining to hold a filling. Unlike fillings which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed. Typically a crown will take two appointments lasting approximately 60-90 minutes.  Crowns can be thought of as a cast for your tooth.  When you break your arm you receive a cast and you typically wear this until the bone has healed and the cast protects your arm.  Unfortunately when teeth crack they cannot heal.  A crown acts as a permanent cast for your tooth and can potentially prevent pain, infection, or death of the tooth.

Dental Bridges

Dental BridgesDental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap -- these two or more anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth -- and a false tooth/teeth in between. These false teeth are called pontics and can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Bridges?

Bridges can:

  • Restore your smile
  • Restore the ability to properly chew and speak
  • Maintain the shape of your face
  • Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position

Schedule your appointment with Dr. Shaw in Hickory, NC to determine the right options for you. Call (828) 267-6800