Crowns & Bridges
Like our dental implant restoration services, dental bridges and crowns are two great ways to replace missing teeth or restore damaged ones. We will outline what these two services are and what to expect from the procedures. Feel free to contact our dental clinic to schedule a consultation during which we can help you understand your options and determine the best course of action for your missing or damaged teeth.
WHAT ARE DENTAL BRIDGES?
As mentioned above, dental bridges are a great solution for replacing missing teeth. This approach uses your existing teeth to literally create a bridge to cross the area where your tooth is missing.
These bridges are cemented to your existing teeth or to implants (if you have dental implants) surrounding the empty space. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. Think of a crown as a cap or helmet that covers a tooth to provide support or replacement.
As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Bridges can be made from gold, metal, alloys or porcelain. We will help you decide the best material to use, based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations and cost.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
To help you understand our approach, here are some of the main elements of the procedure:
- The process of creating a bridge begins by creating abutments from your existing teeth where the bridge will be attached. The existing teeth are recontoured to provide a base for the bridge.
- After the abutments have been created, we take a mold of the area which is sent to a dental lab. The lab is able to use the mold to create a bridge that will fit properly and feel as close to your natural teeth as possible.
- The bridge itself will consist of two crowns on either end to anchor the abutments and a pontic (the prosthetic that replaces your missing tooth).
- We will fit you with a temporary bridge while we wait for the lab to craft your permanent bridge. The temporary bridge protects the abutments and the exposed gum areas and looks more appealing than having a missing tooth.
- When the permanent bridge has been created, you will have a follow-up visit to set the bridge. The bridge will be placed onto the abutments and the dentist will then use an adhesive to make sure that the bridge is set.
- 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.
Taking care of your dental bridge will require the same diligence as before, since the foundation of the bridge depends on the health of the surrounding teeth. Continue to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day and make sure you make your regular check-up visits with us.
WHAT ARE DENTAL CROWNS?
A crown is simply a protective “cap” that fits over a damaged tooth to protect it and restore its appearance. When a tooth is broken, cracked, or cannot be filled anymore, a crown is the restoration of choice. A crown is a very routine dental procedure in which the tooth is first shaped. It is at this visit that a temporary crown is made to wear while our local laboratory makes the permanent crown.
The final crown can be made from different materials, such as gold, porcelain-fused to metal, and all-ceramic. The patient and the dentist can discuss which material is best. At the second visit, the final crown is tried on, checked very carefully, adjusted as needed, and then cemented to the tooth. Detailed instructions are also given as to how to care for the crown. With proper care, a crown can last many years.
TAKING THE NEXT STEP
If you are missing a tooth or are suffering from a damaged tooth, we strongly suggest that you consider having it restored or 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. We want to help you make the best decision for your individual health and situation. We can help you choose best approach for you, whether it is a dental bridge or dental crown. Contact our team today and we’ll get you in to start discussing which treatment is going to be best for restoring your teeth and smile.
Visit our other service pages, such as our page on Natural Tooth Fillings to learn more about how we can improve your health and smile. Learn more about our team and dentist—we are excited to get to know you!