Teeth that have been severely damaged by disease, decay, or injury cannot be restored using traditional fillings. Dental crowns and bridges can be used to restore missing or seriously damaged teeth. These restorations completely cover the affected tooth structures, bringing back healthy oral function and improving the appearance of your smile.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that completely covers a damaged tooth. Crowns can improve the appearance, shape, and alignment of your teeth. They are typically made of porcelain, metals, metal alloys, composite resin, or a mixture of these materials.
Dental bridges are used to replace missing teeth. Traditional bridges are composed of one or more false teeth anchored to dental crowns on each side of the gap. The false teeth are typically made of porcelain that matches the color of your natural teeth.
There are three types of dental bridges commonly used in dentistry :
- Traditional bridges.
- Cantilever bridges.
- Resin-bonded bridges.
First, crowns are placed on the adjacent teeth. The bridge, which contains one or more false teeth, attaches to the adjacent teeth for support. Traditional bridges are used in a majority of cases.
This type of bridge only supports the false teeth on one side. Cantilever bridges are only suitable for areas that don’t experience significant wear and tear.
False teeth are fused to a metal framework that is bonded to your existing teeth. This type of bridge is generally only used on the front teeth.
- Restore and maintain your natural bite.
- Keep your teeth in the proper location.
- Prevent further dental decay and disease.
- Restore full oral health function.
- Improve your ability to chew and speak.
- Enhance your appearance and smile.
If you’re interested in dental crowns or bridges, contact your dentist to schedule a consultation. Patients with severely damaged teeth may be good candidates for dental crowns. If you have one or more missing teeth, you may be a good candidate for a dental bridge. Your dentist can evaluate your oral health to determine the best treatment option.
During the first appointment, your dentist will prepare the tooth for the crown. After numbing the area using local anesthetic, your dentist will reduce your existing tooth to make room for the restoration. Next, you dentist will take an impression of the prepared tooth, which will be sent to a dental laboratory.
At the end of your first appointment, you’ll be fitted with a temporary crown that will protect your tooth while the permanent crown is being built. After receiving the crown, your dentist will check the fit before attaching it using dental cement. The final crown will be shaped and polished to match the natural look of your teeth.
The procedure for placing a dental bridge is similar to crown placement. Your dentist will examine the adjacent teeth to determine if they can support a dental bridge. In most cases, your dentist will place dental crowns on the teeth adjacent to the gap. Next, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth, which will be sent to a dental laboratory. The dental laboratory can use the impressions to fabricate a bridge that will fit comfortably between the support teeth. During this process, you may be fitted with a temporary bridge. When your bridge is ready, your dentist will confirm that it fits before attaching it to the support teeth using dental cement. Once in place, your dentist will shape and polish the bridge to give the restored teeth a natural appearance.
Dental crowns and bridges should be treated like your natural teeth. Good oral hygiene practices are essential, because you can still get cavities under a crown. Be sure to brush your teeth and floss twice daily to prevent oral health problems. If properly cared for, crowns and bridges can last a lifetime.