419 North Mulford Road, Suite 4
Rockford, IL 61107
645 North Michigan Avenue Suite 550
Chicago, IL 60611
10660 West 143rd Street, Suite E
Orland Park, IL 60462
Chicago Smile Center
845 N Michigan Ave Ste 976W
Chicago, IL, 60611-2218
Dr. Russell Baer
222 N La Salle St Ste 230
Chicago, IL, 60601-1005
Dr. Ramy Bahu D.D.S.
845 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL, 60611-2252
Smile for Life Dental
2001 Larkin Ave Ste 120
Elgin, IL, 60123-5808
Most dentists will agree that the tooth crown is at the heart of general dentistry. They've all studied dental crowns in dental school, and some have done their best work replacing a missing tooth and saving the rest.
Research has given them the wherewithal to achieve virtually ideal restorations. They are natural looking, comfortable and stable in the moist environment of the mouth. Cosmetic dentistry professionals are better equipped now more than ever to build strong, long-lasting and cosmetically superior dental crowns.
A crown (or cap) is a restoration placed over broken teeth or a cracked tooth that cannot sustain a conventional filling. By covering the biting surfaces and sides of the tooth, a dental crown strengthens the damaged tooth by binding together the remaining structures. There are basically three kinds of full-crown restorations that can be placed by your cosmetic dentist, each with pros and cons, depending on your situation.
A gold crown or metal alloy crowns have the longest track record for durability, but some people object to the look of metal.
A full porcelain crown - and its new ceramic cousin - looks wonderful and fits well; however, porcelain crowns are usually best on front teeth where stress is not so great.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns are our loyal work-horses for single-tooth restoration - they're very strong.
There are elements of finesse in the creation of any crown. The fit is the thing. The teeth must be prepared with opposing teeth in mind so a good bite won't go bad after the crown is placed. The fit must accommodate adjacent teeth, too. And the "margin," the part of the crown nearest the gum, must fit smoothly to protect the health of gum tissue.
And all this effort is to one end: to save a tooth.
A general dentist attends four years of dental school after college and receives training in all areas of dentistry, including fillings, crowns, cleaning teeth, root canals, extracting teeth and much more. At the completion of this training period, a dentist can either go out and open a dental practice or continue on with their education and specialize in any of the above-mentioned areas. For example, an orthodontist is a specialist in braces.
A prosthodontist is a specialist in the restoration and replacement of broken and missing teeth. Their additional training lasts three years. During that time, they are taught in greater detail about both removable and fixed prosthodontics.
Removable Prosthodontics includes replacing missing teeth with appliances that the patients themselves can take in and out of their mouth, such as dentures and partial dentures.
Fixed prosthodontics includes replacing missing and/or broken teeth with restorations that the patient cannot take in and out, such as veneers, dental crowns, bridges and implants.
The most important part of the training is how to restore teeth in a variety of different situations so that the end result is the most esthetic and predictable outcome possible. The types of cases seen in cosmetic dentistry are often more comprehensive and complex in nature. They often involve the combination of crowns and implants or can even be as involved as placing crowns on every tooth in a person's mouth.
To do this, prosthodontists are trained to evaluate all the different aspects of your teeth and mouth. They observe and treat your mouth with regards to:
By evaluating these different areas, the prosthodontist can treat one area of your mouth, but also will determine how other areas will impact the treatment. In essence, a prosthodontist looks at your mouth as a whole, even though there may be only one tooth requiring treatment.
Often times, especially in cases involving multiple and/or missing teeth, the involvement of other specialists and cosmetic dentistry will be needed to help with treatment. These specialists include orthodontists (to straighten or move teeth using braces), periodontists (for gum surgeries and placement of implants), endodontists (root canals) and oral surgeons (for the extraction of teeth and placement of implants). In essence, the prosthodontist acts as the coordinator to help sequence the proper treatment before the final restorations are placed. Often times, treatment can take longer to complete, especially if other specialists are involved. In taking a complete approach, you can be assured that you will end up with the most esthetic and reliable treatment, whether it involves one or all of your teeth.
By Greggory Kinzer, DDS, MSD