What happens if a missing tooth is not replaced?
What is less obvious is that, other than looks, a lost tooth, whether front or back, can also affect the health of the remaining teeth in your mouth if not replaced. When a tooth is lost, teeth on either side of the space will tilt towards the space. The tooth in the opposite jaw will over-erupt into the space. In time, it may contact the opposite gum, resulting in repeated biting which can cause ulcers. 

These tooth movements also create gaps between teeth where food debris and bacteria will collect. As these gaps are especially difficult to clean, gum disease or tooth decay can result over time. 

All these problems can be prevented by replacing your lost tooth promptly, more than that your lost function of eating will be restored. 

Replacement after tilting and over-eruption have occurred can be difficult.

Crowns and Bridges … The real solution of having a fixed and functional artificial tooth.

The loss of a single tooth can have a major impact on your dental health and personal appearance. Your teeth support and rely on each other. When one or more teeth are missing, the remaining teeth can shift out of their normal position. Teeth adjacent to the space or from the opposite jaw will often drift or tilt. These teeth are often more susceptable to decay and gum disease because they are more difficult to clean around. All of this shifting and drifting will lead to changes in the bite, which may put stress on the jaws, muscles and teeth. Ultimately, your ability to chew comfortably and your appearance may be affected. 

If tooth loss occurs, your dentist may recommend that a bridge be placed. A bridge consists of a replacement tooth/teeth attached to crowns on each side. The bridge is cemented to the teeth adjacent to the space, effectively replacing the missing tooth and preventing any shifting. Usually it involves two visits to have a fixed artificial tooth.

First Visit 

The first visit begins by giving you a local anesthetic. 
Once you are numb, your dentist will prepare your tooth in a very specific way in order to maximize the retention and esthetics of your new porcelain to metal crown. After the tooth is fully prepared, we proceeded with the impression stage.

An exact replica of the prepared support giving tooth along with the space where the lost tooth to be replaced is duplicated. Impressions are taken by using a quick setting impression paste filled in a custom made impression trays that fits you Jaw size. 

Once the impression stage is completed , your dentist or his assistant will place a temporary (transitional ) crown (or bridge if multiple teeth were involved) on your tooth. These plastic (acrylic) restorations are placed on teeth to protect them and the gum tissues between dental visits. The temporary cementing medium used is designed to allow the easy removal of the temporary at your next scheduled visit. 

There are a couple of additional facts you should know about regarding the care of your temporary crown:

  • Home care is extremely important while your temporary crown is in place. The health of your gum tissue and the success of your final treatment restoration depends upon it. PLEASE do not be afraid to clean your teeth between visits. With a minimal amount of home care, you should be able to maintain the continued health of your teeth and gum tissue during the time required to fabricate your new crown.
  • Sometimes, even with meticulous care, temporary crowns or bridges may become loose between visits. If this should occur, please place the temporary crown or bridge back on your tooth immediately. Putting a drop of Vaseline in the temporary crown or bridge will very often increase the retention and hold the temporary in place until you can schedule an appointment. Once again, REPLACING THE TEMPORARY CROWN IMMEDIATELY IS VERY IMPORTANT ! It only takes a short time for teeth to move if the temporary is not put back into its proper position. This could affect the final restoration significantly and may necessitate new impressions and a great deal of time. If you can not replace the temporary crown yourself, put it in a safe place and call the office. We will be happy to refix it for you at the earliest possible moment.

Second visit 
At that time, the temporary crown is removed and any temporary cement is cleaned from the prepared tooth. Your dentist will fit the final crown, check for accuracy, adjust for any bite discrepancies and evaluate the esthetics. If all of these factors are acceptable, the crown is cemented to your tooth. It is not unusual for the new crown to be mildly sensitive to cold temperatures for a few weeks. However, if the sensitivity is severe, does not subside, or if the bite feels uncomfortable, contact your dentist. Further adjustments to the crown may be necessary. 

We hope that this brief instruction sheet will answer most of your questions regarding having a fixed artificial tooth by means of crowns and bridges. Following these simple guidelines will help provide you with the finest in dental care. If you have any questions regarding this or any other procedure, please contact your dentist. 

Bridges can be made from full porcelain, porcelain fused-to-metal, and all metal. Your new bridge will require some special care when brushing and flossing. Your dental professional will instruct you how to clean around and under the bridge. They may recommend various cleaning aids to help you keep the plaque off and prevent further decay and gum disease. 

Quite obviously, if you had lost a front tooth, your looks will be affected by the gap created. Most people will naturally want to replace their lost front tooth.

Dental Crowns 

What is a dental crown and why is it needed? 
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth, covering the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or to improve its appearance. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. 

A dental crown may be needed:

  • To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
  • To restore a broken or worn-down tooth
  • To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
  • To give esthetics to a misshaped or discolored teeth
  • To hold a dental bridge in place
  • To cover a dental implant

What types of materials are available for crowns? 
Permanent crowns can be made from all metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic.

  • Metals used in crowns include gold alloy, other alloys (for example, palladium) or a base-metal alloy (for example, nickel or chromium). Compared with other crown types, less tooth structure needs to be removed with metal crowns. Tooth wear to the opposing teeth is kept to a minimum. Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well. They last the longest in terms of wear down and they rarely chip or break. The main drawback is the metallic color. Metal crowns are a good choice for out-of-sight molars.
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be color matched to your adjacent teeth (unlike the metallic crowns). However, more wearing to the opposing teeth occurs with this crown type compared with metal or resin crowns. The crown’s porcelain portion can also chip or break off. Next to all-ceramic crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look most like normal teeth. However, sometimes the metal underlying the crown’s porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line and even more so if your gums recede. These crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth.
  • All-resin dental crowns are less expensive than other crown types. However, they wear down over time and are more prone to fractures than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
  • All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide the best natural color match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. However, they are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and they wear down the opposing teeth a little more than metal or resin crowns. All-ceramic crowns are a good choice for front teeth