The Rogers, AR, practice of Dr. Ettienne Van Zyl offers dental crowns and bridges to patients looking for restorative dentistry solutions. Dental crowns are shells placed over a tooth when there is already too much damage for a traditional filling. Dental bridges are artificial teeth replacements that can be used to replace missing teeth by utilizing the neighboring teeth as anchors. Both crowns and bridges are commonly made of porcelain and both can be secured over dental implants.View transcript
Dental crowns are used when there are fractured teeth, or there are teeth that have been filled so much that there's not a lot of tooth structure left to support the filling. Once the filling gets beyond a certain size, typically about two-thirds of the biting surface of the tooth, there's just not enough tooth structure left there to support the filling. And we weaken the teeth if we go beyond that. Then all we can do is to basically reduce the entire surface of the tooth, all the way around the tooth, a little bit off the top. So they can put a brand new shell on top, so whatever's underneath can be stable, and not fracture any further to (?) fractures. Bridges are used in cases where patients don't want to spend money on bone grafts. They get implants done. And in that case, in order to fill the empty space where teeth was lost, we would (?) the two teeth on either side of the space. Just like if you would build a bridge over a creek. You'd put a pier on one side and a pier on the other side, with the plank across the top. So that's basically what we do with a bridge, too. Is we used the two teeth on either side of the empty space as our two piers, and then we build the three or four tooth bridge that gets permanently glued to the mouth. The crown, of course, is just the single version of the bridge, just dealing with one tooth at a time. And it can be done on front teeth, it can be done on back teeth. There are various different crowns that are being made by laboratories. Some of them are all porcelain. Some of them have a metal self structure. So in my practice, most of my crowns are metal free, taking into consideration that aesthetics are of pretty high demand at this time and age. People don't want to show anything that we've done in their mouth. And so therefore, the metal-free option is always first on a list for me.