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Dental Crowns and Bridges

21st century dentistry continues to offer more options than ever to help you restore and maintain an optimal level of health. While the strength and beauty of materials continue to advance, the skill of the practitioner makes a significant difference in every outcome. Dr. Kois’ training as a prosthodontist focuses on utilizing the best of dentistry for comprehensive care, returning even the most damaged mouths to full health.

What Is a Dental Crown?

Sometimes teeth undergo significant damage due to cavities, heavy bite forces, trauma, or even normal functioning. If a root canal is needed to salvage a severely compromised nerve, the tooth may be especially fragile. Many situations can leave teeth in danger of being lost if treatment is bypassed. Dental crowns, or caps, allow these teeth to be rebuilt and covered with materials that mimic nature. Not only are most “capped” teeth indistinguishable from natural teeth, they’re also extremely strong and comfortable.

Crowns can be crafted to repair a single tooth, multiple teeth (including the entire mouth), or in conjunction with dental implants to fill an empty space. In fact, when missing teeth enter the equation, special consideration might be given to placing a dental bridge or implants.

What Is a Dental Bridge?

Many of us have cruised over the I90 bridge between Seattle and Mercer Island. Critical support on each side helps bear the load, year after year. A dental bridge works in similar fashion. Teeth on either side of a space support a replacement tooth engineered from durable materials and glued into place. While this often serves for many years, the load-bearing teeth may deteriorate after thousands of chewing cycles. In some cases, this leads to more missing teeth.

A removable partial denture can also be used to replace missing teeth, although not all patients tolerate them well. It may feel loose and a little irritating to the gums, stressing the surrounding teeth. So when a dental bridge or removable partial denture is chosen, it needs to be designed to minimize the strain on the rest of your mouth. This is a key assessment that Dr. Kois can make, and help you decide if either of these are best for you.

Implant-Supported Bridges

In many cases, adding dental implants offers a better alternative, eliminating stress from the chewing system. When carefully placed in the bone of empty spaces, they mimic the roots of teeth. They bear the load that the natural teeth used to hold, sparing the neighboring teeth from excessive forces. In some cases, two implants may be used to build a bridge spanning from one solid titanium piece to another.

Although the planning becomes more complicated with larger spaces, Dr. Kois knows how to bring the puzzle pieces together to fit any scenario. Regardless of the scope of your treatment, the steps are similar to deliver a functional, brilliant smile.

What Can I Expect in the Crown and Bridge Procedures?

Clinical findings and your desires will be considered in all of our planning. Models, digital xray, and other records help guide your personalized treatment. Many times we will first design your new teeth with carved waxed on a stone model for a precise blueprint throughout treatment. These models even provide a highly individualized pattern for your temporary teeth, used while your permanent crowns or bridges are being created.

At your treatment appointment, gently numbed teeth undergo specific shaping and polishing, and impressions of the prepared teeth are captured. Along with photographs and records of your bite, these essential pieces arrive at a specialty dental lab to create models of your teeth. While many dental labs exist in the Seattle area, we partner only with the highest-trained technicians to build your crowns or bridges. Hours of intense, detailed craftsmanship move your new crowns and bridges through the steps needed to bring them to life. In the meantime, acrylic temporaries replicating the final product are placed in your mouth for about three weeks.

When you return to Kois Dentistry after the temporary stage, the final crowns or bridges will be tried in, evaluated, and adjusted slightly to ensure a perfect fit. Once they’re bonded into place, a final polish brings your restored smile to life. While many teeth can often be completed at once in this fashion, some cases may involve repeating the steps in a separate area of your mouth.

Implant-supported cases involve modifications to these steps, but crafting customized crowns and bridges in either scenario leads to the same outcome. Restoring your mouth with the best materials, guided by an expert clinician, in a comfortable environment brings the best of dentistry to you in the Seattle area.