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Natural-Looking Crowns & Bridges

Crowns

Why does a tooth need a crown? Over time our teeth begin to weaken and become more susceptible to problems such as decay, cracks, discoloration and others. If Dr. Hanah Pham notices that a tooth is decayed or seems weakened/cracked, a crown may be necessary to make sure that there are no additional problems with the tooth. A crown may be needed to protect a weak tooth (that was severely decayed or badly broken) from breaking, or to hold together and prevent cracks from spreading further down into the pulp or the bone. Identifying when to crown is very important, and crowning necessary teeth early on may help to prevent future complex dental procedures. If you feel your smile isn’t what it once was, crowns can help you recover your smile.

Crowns can be made from porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or a full gold crown. At Reston Sunrise Dentistry, Dr. Hanah Pham usually recommends a computerized crown that is scanned from the impression that Dr. Pham takes to create the best possible look and feel of the crown in the mouth. More importantly, Dr. Hanah Pham goes above and beyond the standard to make sure that the crown margin has a complete seal; this is very important in the long-term success of the crown. This commitment to quality distinguishes excellent dentistry from average dentistry. To maintain a natural look and feel a porcelain finished crown is best, as it can be matched to the shade of your other teeth. This will allow it to blend in and appear just like one of your natural teeth. There are different types of porcelain available for different situations and different needs. Dr. Hanah Pham has very advanced training in cosmetic dentistry and she can perfect the finished look with the balance between aesthetic and function.

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Old, large, silver filling with bacteria leakage

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Seating process of the molar crown to ensure comfort, fit, and a detailed bite adjustment

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Crown cemented with margins completely sealed, confirmed with X-rays

Usually when you have crowns done at Reston Sunrise Dentistry, it takes about 2 visits. On the first visit, the decay and the filling will need to be removed and a build-up will need to be placed to fill up the preparation area. Sometimes if the cavity is extensive near the pulp chamber (where nerves reside), Dr. Hanah Pham and associates will place a healing medicament in the deep areas to ensure proper healing, reduce sensitivity, and to help avoid future complications like the degeneration of the pulp, leading to a root canal (due to the degeneration of the pulp). Once the tooth has been reshaped, an impression will be taken, in some cases for multiple times to allow good capturing of the margins. This will give good capturing of the margins, thus leading to great and long-lasting crowns. The patient will be leaving the office at the first visit with a temporary crown for 2-3 weeks until the delivery visit. Most of the time, the delivery visit does not require local anesthetics. However, in rare occasions, some patients may have hyper-sensitivity and may request for local anesthetic.

At Reston Sunrise Dentistry, we have very high standards for making the best possible crowns for our patients. We will go above and beyond the standard to make sure that the margin has a compete seal. This is very important in the long-term success of our patients' crowns. More importantly, regular and proper dental hygiene such as brushing, flossing, and preventative therapy such as fluoride treatment,  protects your teeth with a splint for a log term success. With these proper maintenance, your crowns can last you for 15-20 years or more. There are different types of non-metal porcelain crowns available for different situations, please call for a free consultation at (703) 860-4148 or request an appointment to ask any questions you may have about your crowns.

The crown takes about 2-3 weeks to be returned to your dentist. At this time you will have another appointment to place and fit the permanent crown. You will again have a local anesthetic to numb the area and the tooth will be placed using a cement to ensure the tooth sets in place. When you look in the mirror, you will see your old smile back. Crowns are durable and will usually last about 10-15 years. You should care for it as you would any of your other teeth with regular brushing and flossing. Call us today if you would like to learn more about how crowns can help restore your smile.

Bridges

Do you have a missing tooth in your mouth, maybe in one or multiple areas? Have you thought of your options to replace the missing areas so that you can chew, eat, speak, or simply even improve your smile? We all feel self-conscious about our smile when we have missing teeth, but there are options that you can consider such dental bridges, implants, or dentures (this is a last resort for minimal function and comfort). Replacing your teeth with implants is the first ideal option, but if you are not a candidate for implants (possible due to inadequate existing bones or other reasons), dental bridges are a great way to replace your missing teeth. You can lose your teeth due to extensive decay, severe periodontal issues, or due to trauma from an accident. If the missing area is not replaced, complications may occur. For example, malocclusion, super eruption (teeth shifting down or upward), teeth shifting sideways, teeth tilting over the missing space, bite issues potentially causing TMJ, and commonly patients complain about not being able to chew well.

Usually when you have bridges done at Reston Sunrise Dentistry by Dr. Hanah Pham and associates, it takes about two visits. The process of creating a bridge begins with local anesthetics to make sure the adjacent teeth are free of decay, and if the decay is extensive then Dr. Hanah Pham usually goes to the extent of placing a medicament in areas near the pulp chamber to help the nerve heal, reduce sensitivity, and help avoid future complications that may lead to a root canal. If needed, a build-up is performed during the preparation visit (first visit). Your two teeth adjacent to the missing space will need to be prepared, crowned, and processed in the lab together to connect to the pontic (the porcelain tooth that is used to replace the missing tooth), and will be cemented together as three unit bridge. 

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The tooth is lost

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The two adjacent teeth to the missing space are prepared to make room for the porcelain. (Sometimes a metal substructure underneath the porcelain is needed in certain situations for strength)

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The two adjacent teeth to the missing space are prepared to make room for the porcelain. (Sometimes a metal substructure underneath the porcelain is needed in certain situations for strength)

After the adjacent teeth (abutments) have been prepared, an impression is taken of the area to send to the lab. The high-quality lab, that Dr. Hanah Pham trusts, together with the great impression taken (sometimes with multiple attempts) will allow the recreation of the most comfortable and natural-looking bridge possible. Keep in mind that Dr. Hanah Pham will take extra effort to capture great margins because great margins will give her patients great crowns and bridges. The patient will be leaving the office at the first visit with a temporary bridge for 2-3 weeks until the delivery appointment. Most of the time, the delivery appointment does not require local anesthetics. However, in rare occasions, some patients may have hyper-sensitivity and may request for local anesthetic.

At the delivery appointment, you will notice that Dr. Hanah Pham will take special attention to how your bite comes together with the bridge. She will, with her extensive training in occlusion, be able to help adjust your new bridge so that you will not have bite issues in the future. Occlusion and bite adjustments are very important in dentistry that can been overlooked by other practices that aren't making it their focus. A bad bite can lead to other issues, such as TMJ disorder, teeth cracking, or sore muscles, and too much trauma (due to the bite not being adjusted/balanced correctly) could damage the teeth as well.

The bridge may take a little while to get used to, but after a few days it should feel like you have your own teeth back again. You should eat soft foods for the first few days after having your bridge placed. After the initial phase, you will be able to eat whatever you want with no issues.

If you are missing a tooth you should strongly consider having it replaced. Besides the aesthetic disadvantage of missing a tooth, it could also cause structural changes to your mouth and jaw, as well as making it difficult to eat or speak properly. Set up an appointment today to restore your smile.


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Tuesday:

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Wednesday:

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