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Dental Crowns & Bridges

If you have missing, weak, or broken teeth—we can help! Teeth can be lost from trauma, periodontal disease, or may be missing since birth. Teeth may have had several fillings over their life – each one bigger than the last, which makes the remaining tooth weak. Crowns or caps can strengthen the remaining tooth and help you keep it for a lifetime. Our reconstructive dental practice has provided excellent crowns and bridges to patients in the Grand Junction, CO area for over two decades, so we understand the effect that marred teeth can have on your self-confiendce. Our goal is to preserve teeth as conservatively as possible, while restoring health, comfort, and function to your mouth.

What Are Dental Crowns & Bridges?

Chipped, cracked, severely decayed, and missing teeth can be restored with custom-designed dental crowns and bridges. These restorations are created to protect, strengthen, and restore the full appearance and strength of damaged or missing teeth.

Dental crowns and/or 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

For gaps made up of one to three missing teeth, Dr. Gillis offers dental bridges as a permanent correction solution. Our staff has years of experience providing this service to patients in need, and we’re well aware of the many benefits bridges give. The crowns that secure your bridge will only be applied to teeth with strong roots, but they can also be applied to dental implants if your existing teeth are not sturdy enough. Dr. Gillis will work with you to take notes on the size, shape, and coloring of your teeth, which are sent to the certified ceramist that creates the false teeth and bridge. This is done to match your smile and jaw as closely as we can. If you want a brighter smile, it might be worth looking into the teeth whitening treatments that we have before your bridge is ordered. Our staff will provide you with the necessary information and treatment options so you can make decisions that work best for you to return the health, function, and beauty to your smile.

Dental Bridge Success Story – Meet Jazmyn

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?

It’s because fabulous restorative materials – like porcelains and ceramics – are used to create veneers, crowns, and bridges that are so beautiful and translucent they look just like natural enamel. A talented ceramist can recreate color variations in the restoration to match the surrounding natural teeth, while at the same time altering the shape of the tooth. These restorations are strong enough to withstand natural biting pressure and, with proper care, will resist chipping and staining.

Jazmyn recently came to our office to permanently replace a missing tooth and reshape her front six teeth with a more pleasing and uniform appearance. Utilizing a porcelain bridge and conservative porcelain veneers, we were able to provide the naturally beautiful smile Jazmyn desired!

Let the staff at Dr. Gillis’s office bring back your smile with crown and bridge repair.

What Does the Procedure for Dental Crowns & Bridges Involve?

When you arrive at our office for your appointment for dental crowns or bridges, we first make sure that all of your questions are answered and that you are as comfortable as possible. The tooth or teeth to be treated will be anesthetized for your comfort. To help you feel at ease, we offer headphones with your choice of music, blankets, nitrous oxide or sedative medications, and lip balm—to name a few things. We use lots of water to protect your teeth and keep them cool, as well as a special means of isolating your teeth, which also provides a place for your other teeth to rest and continuous suction for your protection.

Defective existing restorations, decay, and weak areas in the tooth or teeth are removed. We use a smooth high-speed handpiece and advanced suction for your comfort and protection. The tooth or teeth are treated to minimize sensitivity and improve bonding. Missing areas of your tooth or teeth that are needed to support the dental crown or bridge are replaced as needed with a strong restorative material often called a buildup restoration. Then, the tooth or teeth are shaped as required to allow the placement of a dental crown or bridge. Dr. Julie Gillis tries to be as conservative as possible when preparing your teeth for crowns or bridges to preserve as much healthy tooth structure as possible.

Impressions are taken of your teeth for the dental laboratory making your dental crowns or bridge. An impression is also taken of the opposite arch and of your bite so that the dental crowns or bridge can be custom-made to fit the prepared teeth and align ideally with your bite. Your dentist should make sure that these impressions are optimal, as this is the information used by the laboratory technician to fabricate your restorations. Your dentist will then make you a temporary crown or bridge to cover and protect your teeth while your restorations are being made.

Models of your teeth are poured from the impressions taken, and the models are specially treated so that all sides of your teeth can be visualized and your dental crown or bridge can be fabricated. Specialized porcelains, and sometimes metal, are used by the laboratory technician to fabricate your restorations. To get an ideal color for your new tooth or teeth, the laboratory technician may use several different shades of porcelain placed in layers over the model of your tooth. Multiple methods are used depending on your specific situation to create strong and beautiful restorations that match the adjacent teeth.

The new dental crowns or bridge are then tried onto your teeth after the temporary crowns or bridge are removed. We like to show our patients their new crowns or bridge so that they have the opportunity to approve of the shape and color of their new restorations. The bite and contacts between your teeth are checked and adjusted to an ideal fit. We treat the teeth again with desensitizers and solutions to improve the attachment and then cement or bond the dental crowns or bridge to your tooth or teeth.

How Long Do Dental Crowns & Bridges Last?

A properly done dental crown or dental bridge should last a long time. Most dental insurance companies consider the lifespan of a dental crown or bridge to be five to seven years. That means that dental insurance would consider covering their portion of the cost of a replacement dental crown or bridge after this amount of time. We would like these types of restorations to last much longer than this estimate! We tell patients that how long dental crowns and bridges last depends on three things. We have control of two of these things and no control over the third.

Here are the three things that determine how long your dental crowns and bridges will last:

  1. How well the dental crown or bridge was made and the entire dental process. This is my job as your dentist, as well as the job of my lab technician. The outcome depends on our selection of quality materials and use of excellent techniques.
  2. How well you take care of your dental crown or bridge. Are you brushing and flossing as much as recommended? How is your diet? Do you clench and grind your teeth? Do you have any destructive habits that would shorten the life of dental restorations?
  3. Genetics. This one neither you nor your dentist has control over. Some teeth are just stronger than others, and any kind of restoration – not just crowns or bridges – lasts longer on some teeth than others.

Successful Results with Dental Crowns & Bridges

Dr. Gillis’ office routinely provides crown and bridge care to patients from the Western Slope of Colorado and nearby Utah communities. Several of our patients drive a couple hours to see us, and some even fly in! However, most of our patients hail from Grand Junction, Fruita, Clifton, Palisade, and Orchard Mesa.

How Much Do Dental Crowns & Bridges Cost?

In our office, the cost of a dental crown is $1300. There is an additional charge if a buildup restoration is required (because the tooth is broken down) or the removal of defective restorations is required to restore your tooth—this would bring the charge closer to $1600. If there are special conditions that require further services to allow a crown to be placed, there may be additional charges. For example, if there is decay below the gumline, we may need to perform gum surgery to access the decay and enable restoration of your tooth. This same surgery will help you to maintain your tooth longer after you have the crown or bridge placed.

For quality dental service you can depend on, contact our office to schedule your restorative dentistry appointment today.