What are Tooth Crowns and Dental Bridges?

With the advancements in dental care and the increase in patient awareness over the years, the occurrences of tooth decay have gone down significantly. Despite such great news, teeth are still prone to decay, infections, damage and other issues brought on by normal use. When a tooth has been damaged in some way or another, dental restorations such as tooth crowns and dental bridges can be used to bring back the tooth’s normal shape, appearance and function. Due to the improved techniques in dentistry, there are now several dental restoration options available to patients, so they can select the best one for their individual situations. If you ever need a dental crown or tooth bridge in Albuquerque or Rio Rancho, we’ll take the time to sit down with you and discuss the different options you have available, making recommendations for what we believe would be the most effective and least invasive treatment. Our number one goal is helping you create a beautiful smile, and our excellent care is a reflection of that goal. Call Cottonwood Dental for dental crowns in Albuquerque for the beautiful smile that you’ve always dreamt of!

Restorative dentistry can:

  • Enhance your smile
  • Fill in unattractive spaces between teeth
  • Improve or correct an improper bite
  • Prevent the loss of a tooth
  • Relieve dental pain
  • Repair damaged and decayed teeth
  • Replace missing teeth
  • Replace old, unattractive dental treatments
  • Restore normal eating and chewing

Several factors influence the performance, durability, longevity and expense of dental crowns and tooth bridges, including:

  • The components used in the filling material
  • The amount of tooth structure remaining
  • Where and how the filling is placed
  • The chewing load that the tooth will have to bear
  • The length and number of visits needed to prepare and adjust the restored tooth
Porcelain Crowns – Bridges

Porcelain Crowns (Tooth Caps)

Dental crowns or tooth caps are a cosmetic restoration used to strengthen a tooth or improve its shape. Tooth crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or partially destroyed by tooth decay.

Crowns are “cemented” onto an existing tooth and fully cover the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the dental crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. A tooth cap can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.

Unlike fillings which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a tooth crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your dental crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.

A tooth crown encloses the entire surface of a tooth, giving it back its original size, shape and function. Also referred to as a tooth cap, a crown is used to protect a tooth that cannot be helped by other restorations, such as fillings.

Many different materials can be used for dental crowns, but porcelain crowns are by far the most popular, as their color resembles that of natural teeth. Like most restorations, these types of crowns are very durable over the years, but they will need replaced after a while. Porcelain crowns help restore your smile by bringing back the original shape, color and size of your tooth. Seek out beautifully created porcelain crowns in Albuquerque by Cottonwood Dental today!

Reasons for tooth crowns:

  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Cosmetic enhancement
  • Decayed teeth
  • Fractured fillings
  • Large fillings


Also referred to as partial crowns, onlay restorations are custom-made fillings. They can be made of gold, tooth-colored porcelain or a composite material. Dentists place the onlays by permanently cementing them into the teeth. Similar to inlay restorations, onlays are used to repair teeth that have large fillings and/or decay and damage. As the name partial crown implies, onlays do not require as much of the tooth surface to be removed as a full crown. Onlays cover more of the tooth than inlays, as the chewing cusps are typically included in this restoration process. Though highly durable, onlays might need replaced after experiencing normal wear over time.

Reasons for onlay restorations:

Onlay Restorations AKA Partial Crowns

Dental crowns in Albuquerque typically require two appointments, with the first appointment being used to take molds/impressions to create a custom crown for your tooth. We will also create a temporary mold at that time, and this mold will stay on your tooth until the crown has been made by the dental laboratory. Normally, this is a two-week time lapse.

Dr. Giaquinto will prepare your tooth for the crown by first numbing it and then removing decay so the crown can fit properly. After this prep work is done, the temporary tooth crown will be attached using a temporary cement. At this time, we will also check to make sure you still have a comfortable bite with the temporary dental crown.

The temporary crown will be removed at your second appointment. The tooth will be cleaned again, and Dr. Giaquinto will place the new tooth crown, making sure that your bite and the spacing are accurate.

Instructions will be provided on how to care for your new tooth crown in Rio Rancho, and regular dental visits will help ensure that it stays in good shape.

  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Cosmetic enhancement
  • Decayed teeth
  • Fractured fillings
  • Large fillings

You can help extend the life of your new onlay by following the care instructions given to you and by maintaining good oral hygiene, a healthy diet and regular dental visits.

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been. Your tooth bridge in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials, and is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support. The success of any dental bridge depends on its foundation — the other teeth, gums, or bone to which it is attached. Therefore, it’s very important to keep your existing teeth, gums, and jaw healthy and strong.


Dental bridges are permanent restorations that are used to replace missing teeth. As with almost all dental restorations, there are many types of tooth bridges that you can choose from, though Dr. Giaquinto can help you make the best choice. The most traditional dental bridge, which consists of porcelain fused to metal, is also the most popular, mainly because porcelain resembles the natural color of teeth. With this porcelain crown bridge, two crowns are placed over two anchoring (abutment) teeth, and they are attached to artificial teeth (pontics), thereby filling the gap created by a missing tooth or by missing teeth. So why wait for great teeth? Call Cottonwood Dental today for dental bridges in Albuquerque!

Dental bridges will last for several years, but they might require replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear over time.

Reasons for a fixed bridge:

  • Fill space of missing teeth
  • Maintain facial shape
  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
  • Restore chewing and speaking ability
  • Restore your smile
  • Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance


Getting a tooth bridge in Albuquerque, NM usually requires two or more visits. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a dental crown. Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made. This will be sent to a dental laboratory where the tooth bridge will be fabricated. In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment. At the second visit, your permanent dental bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit. Occasionally, Dr. Giaquinto may cement the bridge temporarily, allowing your teeth and tissue time to get used to the new bridge. The new tooth bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time. You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent dental bridge.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are custom-made pieces of tooth-shaped porcelain. They are very thin and created by a professional dental laboratory. Veneers are bonded to the front of the teeth, creating a beautiful smile. Porcelain veneers in Albuquerque can be used to transform your smile, and they are often an alternative to dental crowns for many different situations. Just like other dental restorations, veneers in Rio Rancho are very durable, but they may need replaced over time so you can keep your smile looking its absolute best.

Reasons for porcelain veneers:

  • Cosmetically, to create a uniform, white, beautiful smile
  • Crooked teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Severely discolored or stained teeth
  • Teeth that are too small or large
  • Unwanted or uneven spaces
  • Worn or chipped teeth


Two visits to Dr. Giaquinto are typically necessary for receiving porcelain veneers in Albuquerque. Dr. Giaquinto will prep your teeth by lightly buffing and shaping them so there is room for the thickness of the veneer. Little or no anesthesia is necessary for this process. During this first appointment, Dr. Giaquinto will also take a mold of your teeth and will help you choose the appropriate color/shade.

When you come in for the second visit, your teeth will be cleansed to ensure a long-lasting bond. After this cleansing, a bonding cement is applied between the tooth and the veneer, and a special light beam is used to harden and set the bond.

Careful and regular flossing, brushing and dental visits are necessary to increase the life of your porcelain veneers in Rio Rancho. You will receive basic care instructions after the procedure is finished.


There are many different types of styles of smiles each patient can choose from when they consider improving their smile with cosmetic dentistry. Dr. David Giaquinto will help you decide what design you would like for your dental veneers in Albuquerque. There are many different types of smiles you can choose from.


Once you choose the style of your smile, we send this information to the dental laboratory for a fabrication of your new smile from an impression of your teeth. This diagnostic waxup gives a three dimension evaluation of your case to see if it meets with your approval. It is also a way to verify that we can closely duplicate your choice. In addition, we use the diagnostic waxup to fabricate your temporaries from this model.


The cost of dental veneers can be substantial. When we look at a smile makeover the total costs are around $1500 each. However, each case is unique and costs can vary depending on individual need. If you would like more specific costs, call to schedule a consultation or appointment with us today. We offer Friendly Financing.