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Tell Me About Dental Crowns and Bridges!

December 27, 2015

Filed under: All-Porcelain Bridge,Crowns — Tags: , , — Dr Gillis @ 7:32 am

Another name for a dental crown is a tooth ‘cap’.  Made out of a variety of materials including porcelain and gold, a dental crown covers and protects and/or changes the shape of the tooth or implant below it.  A dental bridge is composed of at least two dental crowns affixed to teeth or implants, and additional crown(s) and used to replace missing teeth.

Anterior crowns

Anterior crowns

Various posterior crowns made with and without metal.

Various posterior crowns made with and without metal.

Dental Crowns and/or dental bridges can be used:

  • to repair broken teeth.
  • to replace missing teeth.
  • to provide strength to an existing tooth.
  • as a replacement for very large fillings.
  • to support dental bridges.
  • to add stability and function to your bite.
  • cosmetically, to conceal permanent stains.


Smile Naturally Again!

December 17, 2015

Smile Naturally Again!

Dazzling smiles look natural and feel comfortable.

Dazzling smiles look natural and feel comfortable.

Why is it that these days you can’t tell whether someone’s terrific smile is a gift of nature or has been revitalized by dentistry?  (more…)

Precision Partials and Bridges Can Be Good Tooth Replacement Options!

August 27, 2015

porcelain bridgeIf you have teeth that are damaged or missing, then you’re familiar with the challenges these may present. You may not be able to eat some of your favorite foods, many of which might be key ingredients of a nutritious diet. Missing or broken teeth may make speaking difficult in both professional and social settings. You may even be reluctant to smile. And whether you have one or more missing teeth, there may be consequences to your oral health, which range from periodontal disease to a misaligned bite. Thus, the need to replace missing teeth or repair broken teeth is significant. There are a few excellent choices to replace missing teeth including, partial dentures, bridges and dental implants. Fortunately, Dr. Julie M. Gillis and her friendly staff in Grand Junction, CO, are well-versed in the pros and cons of each option and can help you select the best option for your circumstance.

Partial Dentures Grand Junction, CO, Smiles About

Partial dentures are appropriate if you are missing some teeth, but others remain in place. A partial fits like a puzzle piece between intact teeth, and is usually held in place by clasps that attach to teeth that are adjacent to your missing teeth. A partial denture is removable and easy to keep clean. When you brush your teeth, be sure to brush your partial denture, too. Never sleep with a partial denture in your mouth. Instead, place it in a glass of water and let it soak overnight.


stained and decayed teethA dental bridge, as the name implies, bridges the gap in your smile that missing teeth leave behind. The bridge consists of a false tooth or teeth that replaces the missing one or two teeth and two crowns that are attached to adjacent teeth with strong roots. The crowns secure your bridge in place. If the roots of these abutment teeth are not strong enough to hold a bridge, or if the tooth is damaged, then Dr. Gillis may recommend dental implants to support the bridge.

Dental Implants

repaired teethUnlike partial dentures and bridges that depend on your other teeth for placement and stability, a dental implant is a stand-alone tooth replacement option. Dr. Gillis and her surgical team carefully implants a small titanium post or dental implant in the jawbone where there is a tooth missing. This implant mimics the function of a natural tooth root. As you heal from surgery, the post and bone fuse together to form a stable base. After a few months, Dr. Gillis attaches a custom-made porcelain crown to the post, and you have a new, independent tooth replacement.

Call Our Office Today

When considering bridges, dental implants or partial dentures, Grand Junction, CO, relies on Dr. Julie M. Gillis and her team for the best guidance and treatment.  We serve patients from the Western Slope of Colorado, eastern Utah and Fruita, Palisade and Orchard Mesa, CO.

Born Without Lateral incisors? You have Options For Replacing These Teeth!

December 4, 2014

Born Without Lateral incisors? You have Options For Replacing These Teeth!

Canine and Lateral incisor is missing on one side and lateral incisor is 'peg' shaped on the other!

Lateral incisor is missing on one side and  ‘peg’ shaped on the other!  Adult canine teeth have not yet erupted.

One of the most common teeth to be missing is the upper lateral incisor.  (The most common missing tooth is one or more of the wisdom teeth)  Because a lateral incisor is in the front of the mouth, it is almost always an aesthetic concern when it is not present.  There are many treatment options to  replace a missing lateral incisor:

  1. The adult canine tooth can be re positioned with orthodontic treatment into the lateral incisor position and then reshaped either with a porcelain veneer, direct bonding, and/or conservative enameloplasty (grinding to reshape the tooth) to make the canine tooth look more like a lateral incisor.
  2. An implant can be placed in the lateral incisor position of enough bone is available to do this.
  3. A cantilever bridge (the tooth adjacent to the missing one is crowned and supports a crown in the place of the missing tooth) can be placed to make it appear as if the  tooth is not missing.
  4. A fixed porcelain bridge can be placed to replace the missing incisor.
  5. A tooth can be bonded between the existing teeth to replace the missing tooth.
  6. A ‘flipper‘ or removable partial denture can be made that replaced the missing tooth.
This patient is missing several front teeth including the lateral incisors which will be replaced by all-porcelain bridges.  The dental laboratory has cut away the tissue on the models to check the margins of this bridge.

This patient is missing several front teeth including the lateral incisors which will be replaced by all-porcelain bridges. The dental laboratory has cut away the tissue on the models to check the margins of this bridge.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these.

  1. When a canine tooth is in the position of a lateral incisor, it may be too large compared to a ‘normal’ lateral incisor. But often it looks great.
  2. An implant in the position of the lateral incisor may look like you grew a new, ideally shaped tooth! An implant may require orthodontic treatment and bone grafting for a successful result.
  3. A cantilever bridge may be the best treatment especially if the tooth supporting the cantilever bridge could benefit from a change in shape as well.  This does involve placing a crown or partial crown on either the canine or the central incisor.
  4. A porcelain bridge may be the best treatment IF the teeth involved in the bridge need treatment as well
  5. A bonded tooth is a very conservative treatment but may be prone to breaking or involve a change in eating habits.
  6. A flipper or removable treatment partial is a very conservative treatment option and can look very aesthetic but may feel artificial.

    A "flipper" or treatment partial can be made to fill the space where the missing tooth is.

    A “flipper” or treatment partial can be made to fill the space where the missing tooth is.

Our office would be happy to review your treatment options!  We want our patients to select the best treatment for their needs – now and in the future!

“Caring For And Enhancing Your Smile” has been our office’s bi-line ever since I opened my practice in Grand Junction, CO.  Our practice philosophy is to restore dental health and comfort as a priority and restore beauty whenever we can along with this! Our office’s phone number is (970) 242-3635. We would love to have you visit our office Facebook page and “Like” us!  www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc

Yours for better dental health, Julie Gillis, DDS, Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health!

Smile restored with a combination of porcelain veneers and a porcelain cantilever bridge.

Smile restored with a combination of porcelain veneers and a porcelain cantilever bridge.

Lateral incisor is missing on one side and peg shaped on the other!

Lateral incisor is missing on one side and peg shaped on the other!  The right canine has been prepared for a cantilever bridge.

An All-Porcelain Bridge and Porcelain Veneers Bring Beauty to This Smile

April 23, 2012

Cosmetic Dentistry including porcelain veneers and an all-porcelain bridge brings healthy beauty to this smile.

This lateral incisor tips into the lip and has almost no root left!

Our patient was unhappy with her smile.  Her right lateral incisor tipped towards her lip and she was not happy with the color and shape of the other front teeth.  Additionally, the tipped incisor was loose and had almost no root remaining – see adjacent xray.  We were able to restore her smile with a conservative two-unit all-porcelain cantilever bridge and porcelain veneers.  When a tooth is lost due to decay or gum disease, or as in this case, a problem with the root of the tooth, a fixed dental bridge is a good way to restore the missing tooth. A dental bridge can be thought of as a false tooth, and can be used to repace a single missing tooth, or several adjacent teeth. Fixed bridge means this type of all-porcelain bridge does not come out, and if done correctly, feels like your natural teeth.

A porcelain veneer is a thin, translucent shell of porcelain that is bonded to a tooth to improve its color and shape.  Porcelain Veneers can be used to close spaces between teeth, lengthen small or misshapen teeth, or whiten stained or dark teeth.

Dental implants are another way to replace missing teeth and we will review these in future blogs!

This information shared with you by Julie Gillis, DDS PCOur office is located  in Grand Junction, Colorado.  We feel that your dental health is the top priority. and if we can make your smile more attractive while improving your health that is wonderful! Dr. Gillis practices restorative and cosmetic dentistry including porcelain veneers, tooth whitening, implants, crowns, bridges and periodontal care.  Our office website is www.juliegillisds.com.  For further information, please contact us at (970) 242-3635.

Yours for better health,

 Julie Gillis, DDS, “Restoring Smiles, Restoring Health”

Note the tipped incisor and slightly crooked teeth

The restored teeth have better alignment, and a natural color!


Types of dental bridges: In general, there are 3 types of dental bridges used today: all metal, porcelain fused to metal, and all-porcelain bridges. All metal bridges have fallen out of favor due to the poor esthetics. Porcelain fused to metal bridges are strong and esthetically pleasing, but they do have drawbacks. Over time the gums may recede, exposing the little metal gray line that you may have seen in a person’s mouth. A tell-tale sign that the teeth are false!

The third type of bridge is an all porcelain bridge. These bridges are the most esthetically pleasing of the three. All-Porcelain bridges can be made to look almost identical to your natural teeth.  Today, with new techniques and improved porcelain, the all porcelain bridge has become a very good choice for replacing a missing tooth.

Replacing a missing tooth with a fixed bridge involves two appointments:

At the first appointment, the tooth or teeth that are supporting the bridge are shaped and an impression is taken to make a working stone model for the dental laboratory. During the time that the laboratory is creating your new all-porcelain bridge, you will have a temporary bridge in your mouth.

At the next appointment, the temporary bridge is removed, and the new all porcelain bridge is tried on to make sure that both you and Dr. Gillis are happy with the fit, the color and the shape. Dr. Gillis will check your bite, make sure that you can floss adequately, and be sure that the color is a good match to your adjacent teeth. If you and Dr. Gillis are completely happy with the bridge, your new all-porcelain dental bridge will be bonded into place.

For our patient shown here, we created an all porcelain cantilever bridge using support from the adjacent canine tooth to replace the missing lateral incisor and we fabricated custom porcelain veneers for the other anterior teeth. Our patient can easily floss between the lateral and central incisor and floss below the missing tooth.

The result! A lovely, healthy smile that will last for years!

Please contact our office if you have questions about porcelain veneers, all-porcelain bridges or any other dental question.  We would be happy to help you!  Our office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado. Our phone number is (970) 242-3635.

Restoring health, restoring smiles!

Dr. Julie Gillis