07 May Dental Crowns and Bridges: The Basics
Many people have heard about dental crowns and bridges before, but do you know what they do? How do dental crowns and bridges work? Are they right for you? How do they differ from traditional dentures? Today we are going to answer all of those questions and more. By the end of the article, you will know if dental crowns and bridges are right for you.
What are Dental Crowns and Bridges?
Both crowns and bridges are prosthetic devices, but unlike dentures, they are fixed in place. Dentures are removable for daily cleaning. Only a dentist can remove a crown or bridge. While the initial setup may be a bit more intense, the end product is worth it.
How Do Crowns Work?
A crown is a cover or a “cap” over a tooth that is damaged. A crown not only strengthens a damaged tooth it can also approve the tooth’s appearance, shape, and alignment. Dentists also place crowns over implants to provide tooth-like form and function. The two most common types of crowns are porcelain and ceramic. A skilled dentist can match the color of the medium to your natural teeth. Other materials include gold, ceramic, and metal alloys. These materials are stronger than porcelain, making them a great alternative for replacing teeth in the back of your mouth. Porcelain and metal combinations are common for replacing back teeth because of their strength and appearance. After all, no one wants a mouth full of metal, unless you are a rapper.
The following issues are common uses for crowns:
- Protecting a weak tooth.
- Replacing a large filling.
- Restoring a broken tooth.
- Covering an implant or a tooth that has had a root canal treatment.
- And attaching a bridge.
Attaching a Bridge
If you a missing one or more teeth a dentist will likely install a bridge. Gaps left in your teeth can cause your remaining teeth to rotate or move. This leads to serious dental concerns such as a bad bite, gum disease, and TMJ. To avoid these serious risks, a dentist will put a bridge in the gap.
Replacing missing teeth is the most common use of a bridge. Your dentist will fix the bridge to existing teeth or implants that they will install. These teeth called abutments would serve as the anchor for the new bridge. A replacement tooth, know as a pontic, is attached to the crowns used to cover the abutments. Dentists use the same materials to create dental crowns and bridges. You dentist can help you decide which material is right for your specific situation. They will take into account the location of the missing tooth, it’s function, and the price. Your dentist will match your new bridge to the color of your existing teeth with porcelain or ceramic.
How Are Dental Crowns and Bridges Made?
The first step in the process is reducing the size of the existing tooth that the dental crown or bridge will be replacing. This is to ensure a proper fit over the tooth. However, if the tooth is missing there is no need for this step, so your dentist will move on to the next step. Next, your dentist will make an impression to make a mold. This mold has to be precise, or the end product will not turn out perfect. Then, your dentist will match the new material to your existing teeth.
Your dentist then sends the impression to a dental lab. In the meantime, they install a temporary dental crown and bridge. Once the new crown or bridges return from the dental lab, it is put in place. Removing the temporary crown or bridge and replacing it with your new teeth.
How Long Do Dental Crowns and Bridges Last?
The answer to this question is, it depends. Ideally, a crown or bridge will last the patient’s lifetime. However, the new implants sometimes come loose or fall out. The best defense against a loose crown or bridge is to take care of them. Regular flossing and brushing can prevent any mishaps. Keeping your gums healthy is key to keeping your implants in place. Just because they are technically not your teeth doesn’t mean that you can stop taking care of them. Regular dental checkups will also help prevent loosing implants. Another key to keeping your new crown or bridge in place is avoiding hard foods. Ice, hard candy and other tough to chew foods can loosen you implants.
Tower Dental Can Help
Tower dental has decades of experience with installing dental crowns and bridges. We can guide you in the right direction and help you determine the best course of action for all of your dental needs. Call us today to set up an appointment and get on your way to a healthy mouth!