Crowns & Bridgework

Dental Services

Thank you all for your great service, kind care, and sweet attitudes. I love being your patient, blessings!

P.K.

Thank you for everything leading up to and the day of my visit for Bioclear. I’m so happy with the results from the procedure and I appreciate all of the information everyone provided during the process. Thanks so much to you, Dr. Leach, for investing your time and talents in making this procedure available in our state. I’m very grateful for all of the kindness and care everyone gave to me. The office visits, phone conversations, and really all of my interactions with your office were very positive and put me at ease. Thank you so much for all that you all do!

Traci S.

Dr. Leach did a magnificent job on my teeth. He did some bonding to fill in some spaces and my teeth look just perfect. I am completely happy with the great job he did! He also did the work with no discomfort whatsoever and without even numbing. I was very comfortable the whole time.

J.M.

Wow, my dental appointments were actually looked at as a pleasant experience, since Dr. Leach and his staff are so capable and sincere – and there was no discomfort as one usually expects.

C.R.

Dear Dr. Leach,  I just wanted to tell you thank you for my beautiful veneers! I love them and get compliments on them all the time. Thank you again!

Katie W.

My family and I have been a client of Dr. Steven Leach for 13 years. He has been a very positive influence concerning oral health. After consulting with Dr. Leach concerning a very crooked front tooth, he advised me and we came to the conclusion that we need to crown the teeth. His staff was encouraging, very kind and helpful with the decisions that needed to be made. Dr. Leach took great care to make sure that everything went according to plan. When it was time to fit the new teeth he was meticulous and the outcome was beyond my wildest hopes. For the first time I had a smile that I could really be proud of. Dr. Leach’s expertise, his excellent staff, and the lab made what could have been a harrowing experience a very enjoyable one.
Thank you Dr. Leach, “She said with a smile”!

K.H.

Dentistry is an art as well as a science; dental crowns offer a perfect example of this. A dental crown or “cap” is a covering that fits over a damaged, decayed or unattractive tooth. It can even replace a tooth entirely as part of dental bridgework.

Crowns and Bridges

A crown completely covers a tooth above the gum line. This is in contrast to a dental veneer, which only covers a tooth’s front surface and needs natural tooth structure to support it. Therefore, if a tooth is missing a significant amount of structure above the gum line, a crown would be the restoration of choice.

Crowns strengthen damaged teeth, allowing them to function normally again. When crafted from today’s high-tech porcelains (dental ceramics), crowns are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. They can even be designed to improve upon a tooth’s original appearance.

There are other materials besides porcelain that we can use to make dental crowns, depending on what qualities are most important. For durability, cast gold can’t be beat. However, this is not always the most aesthetic choice — especially towards the front of the mouth. Other possibilities include porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns (PFM), which have a metal interior for strength and a porcelain exterior for a more natural appearance, and all-porcelain crowns with zirconia, representing the strongest ceramic. We would be happy to discuss the pros and cons of these various options with you.

Crowning or Capping a Tooth

Crowning or capping a tooth will usually take two to three visits. At the first visit, your tooth is prepared to receive its new crown. First, it is shaped to fit inside the new covering. This will involve some drilling to give the tooth a uniform shape. The tooth and the surrounding area will be numbed beforehand. If there is very little tooth structure left to begin with, the tooth may have to be built up with filling material, rather than filed down, to support the crown.

After the tooth is prepared, impressions of your teeth are taken, either digitally or with reliable, putty-like impression materials, and sent to the dental laboratory. There, the impressions will be used to make models of your teeth for the creation of a crown. The models will serve as guides to the highly skilled lab technicians, who will ensure that your new crown is designed to enhance your smile and function well within your bite.

Before you leave the office, a temporary crown will be attached to your tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is ready. At the second visit, your permanent crown will be attached to your tooth with either a resin that hardens when exposed to a special light source, or a type of permanent cement.

Dental Crowning

Creating a Bridge

Crowns can also be used to create a lifelike replacement for a missing tooth. This is done with bridgework, which spans the space of the missing tooth and requires at least three crowns. Two of those crowns will be placed over healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth; these healthy teeth are referred to as abutment teeth. The two crowned abutment teeth become supports for a third crown placed in between them; that third crown is referred to as a pontic. If more than one tooth is missing, more crowns will be needed to bridge the gap in between the abutment teeth.

The number of abutment teeth necessary to replace missing teeth is influenced by the number of missing teeth, the size and length of the abutment tooth roots, the amount of bone support each abutment tooth has, as well as where in the mouth the missing tooth is located. For example, if you have three missing teeth, four abutment teeth may be necessary, thereby creating a seven-tooth bridge. Engineering and designing of the bridge requires an understanding of how to replace teeth, as well as the biology of the supporting gum and bone tissue.

Dental Bridges

Caring for Your Crowns & Bridgework

Crowns and bridgework require the same conscientious care as your natural teeth. Be sure to brush and floss between all of your teeth — restored and natural — every day to reduce the buildup of dental plaque. When you have crowns, it is even more important to maintain your regular schedule of cleanings at the dental office. Avoid using your teeth as tools (to open packages, for example). If you have a grinding habit, wearing a nightguard would be a good idea to protect your teeth and your investment.