Crowns and Bridges
Crowns are used to fix badly broken down teeth. They are used on both front and back teeth and can be made of all gold, porcelain over gold, or all porcelain. They cover all of the tooth that you can see above the gumline.
- Gold crowns have the longest track record and are truly the “gold standard”. They don’t chip or crack. And they can be made thinner, so less tooth reduction is needed. This can be helpful when back teeth are very short.
- Porcelain over metal crowns also have a good track record behind them and obviously look much better than gold. In our office we use high noble, predominantly gold metal under the porcelain because some people have sensitivities to the base metals like nickel and beryllium found in non-precious metal crowns. They tend to look darker up by the gums because the metal underneath shows through the root.
- Crowns made of all porcelain look the most like natural teeth, but historically they have not lasted as long because porcelain tends to be brittle. The newer porcelains are much stronger. Some even claim to be stronger than porcelain over metal crowns.
- E.max crowns can be made using our one day Cerec unit and are developing a good track record.
- Zirconium crowns are newer and stronger still and may replace gold crowns in the future because like gold, they can be made thinner.
Bridges are used to replace missing teeth, as long as there are good teeth on either side of the missing one(s).
- Those adjacent teeth are prepared for crowns, and the lab makes a bridge which includes the crowns with a fake tooth (or teeth) hanging between them.
- They can be made of gold, porcelain over gold, and in certain low-stress cases, all porcelain.
Below are before and after examples of Yamamoto and Lee patients with crowns and/or bridges.