Dental Insurance Schenectady, NY
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8am-8pm; Friday 8am-5pm
Dr. Jeffrey Backer, 
Dr. Amanda Marx, 
Dr. Martin Stess, 
Dr. Gregory Morra, 
Orthodontist; Dr. Sergey Berenshteyn

214 Mohawk Ave. Scotia, NY 12302



Sometimes a tooth becomes so severely damaged due to decay, cracked teeth or trauma that the area is too large to restore with a traditional filling. Such cases may call for a dental crown. One option to replacing missing teeth when teeth exist on either side of the space is a bridge.

Both crowns and bridges fit completely over the affected teeth. To prepare for a crown or bridge, the tooth is prepared by being trimmed down (reduced) to accommodate the crown or bridge. The crown or bridge restores the size, shape and look of your teeth, and more importantly restores function. Learn more about crowns and bridges below.

Dental Crown

A dental crown, sometimes called a cap, completely covers your damaged tooth. It is cemented into place and offers a strong, solid, good-looking replacement for a natural tooth. A crown is created in a lab and is made from models your dentist makes with impressions, so it fits your mouth perfectly; replicating the shape, size and position of your damaged tooth.
Reasons your dentist would recommend a dental crown:
  • To replace a large filling that no longer has enough tooth structure to continue to fill the cavity
  • To protect a weak tooth from further chipping, breaking or fracturing
  • To restore a fractured/cracked tooth
  • To cover a poorly shaped tooth or discolored tooth
  • To attach a dental bridge (see more below)
  • To protect and restore a tooth that has had a root canal
  • To cover a dental implant
No matter the reason you need a crown, it is well worth it. Your tooth will be stronger and more stable, it will last longer, it will look better, and you’ll feel better. Just as with tooth cavity filling materials, many types of dental crown materials exist. 
Type of Dental Crowns:

Temporary crowns: these crowns are acrylic or metal alloy and are made right in the dentist’s office. They cover the tooth while a permanent crown is being created in our in-house dental lab.

All ceramic or all porcelain crowns: these dental crowns are very common and provide optimum aesthetic results. 

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns: these dental crowns contain an inner metal casting with porcelain baked over it. They look natural and can be very aesthetic. Occasionally they may chip and show the underlying metal. 

Metal crowns: these crowns can be made from cast gold alloys or cast silver palladium alloys. With a metal crown, less tooth structure needs to be removed and the wear on opposing teeth is minimal. Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing well and last the longest. They also rarely chip or break.

Stainless steel crowns: these are prefabricated crowns that are used on permanent and baby teeth. Stainless steel crowns are generally used for children's teeth because they are cost-effective and can be put on in one visit.
Dental Bridge:

Missing a tooth and having a gap in between your teeth isn’t just unsightly, it can cause other problems. Talking and chewing may be difficult. Teeth adjacent to the space will eventually begin to shift into the empty space which will affect your bite, may lead to gum disease and possibly even jaw joint disorders like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues.

One way to take care of a gap caused by a missing tooth is with a dental bridge. There are removable dental bridges, also called partial dentures, that can be removed and cleaned like dentures, and there are permanent dental bridges, sometimes called fixed partial dentures.

A dental bridge is called a bridge because it literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth used to be. Bridges are cemented to the teeth adjacent to the empty space. The adjacent teeth, called abutments, serve as the anchors for the bridge. The adjacent teeth are trimmed down and capped with a crown, and then a replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to those crowns to form the bridge. The unit is securely cemented to your teeth and your smile and ability to chew food is improved.
Dental bridges help you:
  • Restore the ability to chew and speak properly
  • Maintain the shape of your face, preventing lip or face collapse
  • Distribute the forces in your bite to alleviate stress on other teeth
  • Prevent remaining teeth from shifting out of position and into the gap 
There are several types of dental bridges. Each bridge is made with different materials and is better suited for certain areas of the mouth and for certain types of situations. 
Type of dental bridges:

Traditional bridges: these are the most common dental bridges. They involve creating a crown for the tooth (abutment) on either side of the missing tooth, with a replacement tooth (pontic) in between. Traditional bridges are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramic.

Cantilever bridges: these bridges are used when the replacement tooth can only be supported from one side. A cantilever dental bridge is typically used when the space is small and the stresses will be minimal. 
Maryland bonded bridges: this dental bridge is most commonly used to bridge front teeth together. The Maryland bridge technique, named after the University of Maryland Dental School where it was developed, uses metal or resin “wings” on each side of the bridge that are bonded to the existing teeth. A Maryland bonded bridge is also called a resin-bonded bridge. One of its big advantages is that it requires very little shaping, if any, of the anchor teeth.

Implant-supported dental bridges: these bridges are recommended if you’re missing more than one tooth. This technique involves the placement of two or more dental implants with space between them. These implants serve as the abutments (anchors) for the permanently cemented bridgework. Because dental implants simulate tooth roots, they maintain the integrity of the jaw bone and provide a solid support for the bridge.

As with crowns, bridges are made of several different types of materials. Gold, alloy, porcelain or a combination of all of them. Material selection is based on your existing dentition, the area of the mouth to be restored and the type of bridge to be used.  With proper care and dental hygiene, your bridge will keep you smiling for many of years.

What is a Dental Implant?

Implant dentistry can be traced as far back as 4000 years ago in ancient China where bamboo sticks where carved into tooth-shaped pegs and driven into the jaw. The Egyptians also used precious metals and the Central Americans used carved sea shells to implant areas of missing teeth.

Fortunately, the science behind dental implants has progressed and today’s dental implant is made from a body-friendly material such as titanium. It is inserted into the jaw bone in order to replace a missing tooth or several teeth. This procedure is now very commonly done, in fact over 1 millions dental implants are placed each year in the United States. 

The most common implant procedure involves just 3 steps. The first step is the placement of the implant usually utilizing just local anesthesia. After a healing period of roughly 3-6 months the second step is performed - the implant is uncovered and the gums are contoured around it. Thirdly, a tooth-shaped crown (cap) is attached onto the implant, thus restoring the patient’s ability to eat and smile. 

The following information is designed to provide helpful facts so you can make an informed decision as to whether dental implants are right for your situation.

Dental Implants and Roots

The key benefit of dental implants over other tooth replacement systems is that an implant connects directly to the jaw bone. It’s obviously not the same as the original connection, but functions just the same. When a tooth is lost, bone loss will eventually occur in that region because the root is no longer stimulating and stabilizing the bone. By using titanium--which biochemically joins to bone, to replace the root.
What Happens When You Lose a Tooth?

When you lose a tooth, especially a back tooth, you may feel you don’t need to replace it, since no one can see that it’s missing and you have plenty of other teeth. However, there is more bone loss going on under the surface once a tooth is lost. Surrounding each tooth is an alveolar bone that supports the tooth and when the tooth is lost, that bone basically melts away. This is why people who have lost most of their teeth and are not wearing dentures appear to have a caved-in appearance to their mouths. Besides causing damage to the immediate area, tooth loss affects remaining teeth as well. Teeth create a structure for the face and their loss can shift the surrounding teeth, creating esthetic issues and bite problems. A lost tooth can also affect facial structures such as the jaw, muscles, jaw joints, and even the skin. If several teeth are lost, it’s not uncommon to suffer from social consequences and poor nutrition.
Rebuilding Bone

When the supporting alveolar bone melts away, it’s gone for good, but through grafting, a skilled dental professional can recreate bone to fuse with and support an implant. This is wonderful news, but it is still best to have a dental implant as soon as possible after the tooth is lost for the most predictable esthetic outcome.

It's not a one day procedure to replace a tooth with an implant & crown, yet.  The implant needs time to properly adhere to the bone and create a healthy fusion before the crown can be attached and full bite force can be applied. In most cases, it will take a few months to complete the process.
Another strategy for implant placement within narrow spaces is the incorporation of the mini implant. Mini implants may be used for small teeth for incisors. Narrower implants may be used for small teeth and Mini Dental Implants incisors. Also, a narrower implant may best serve patients who require stabilization of lower jaw dentures, pre-molar teeth, or a missing tooth that was located in a narrow area. A small number of narrower implants are FDA-approved for the purpose of prosthesis stabilization, including the mini dental implant. Only certain dentists may perform this procedure. There are some core differences between traditional implants and mini implants:
  • Mini implants are approximately half the width of their traditional counterparts.
  • The implant is not fully submerged. 
  • Should implant failure occur, the small size (that of a toothpick) means grafting is not necessary.
  • Mini implants are less costly.
  • Mini implants are solid though they do not contain a screw.   
An implant-supported bridge

An implant-supported bridge is far superior to removable partials or multiple tooth supported fixed bridges:
  • Dental implants virtually stop the bone resorption process (deterioration)
  • Implants are much more comfortable and stable than partial dentures
  • The integrity of the facial structure is maintained (no sagging jaw line)
  • The gum line stays intact – not eaten away by metal clasps
  • Natural biting and chewing capacity is restored
  • Adjacent natural teeth are preserved
  • You can eat what you want, when you want, where you want – steak, corn on the cob, apples, crunchy snacks, sticky snacks
  • Dental implants look, act, and feel just like natural teeth
  • Dental implants are permanent – no need to deal with messy adhesives or cleaning solutions 
The Overdenture Option

If you have conventional dentures but aren’t wearing them because they are ill fitting or slip around in your mouth, consider an overdenture dental implant. As few as two dental implants will stabilize your conventional dentures so you can go about your daily life with greater confidence.

Benefits of an implant-supported overdenture:
  • Can attach to as few as two implants per jaw
  • Removable for easy care
  • Structured to give full implant-supported function
  • Restores quality of life in a cost effective and timely manner
  • Preserves the bone and prevents further deterioration of facial structure
  • Prevents health problems that would normally occur with complete tooth loss
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