Crowns & Bridges
A crown is a dental prosthetic that is put over a tooth to protect it, or to restore the tooth back to its original shape. A crown may be needed for many reasons from a large amount of decay covering the tooth, teeth breaking, or a root canal being preformed. The crown is placed along the gum line of the tooth and cemented. Once placed the tooth should look and feel much like the original tooth once did. .
A bridge is made up of two or more crowns acting as anchors to a tooth or teeth that are missing. This connects the teeth together with crowns on opposite sides of the missing teeth with fixed prosthetic teeth to filling the voids.
Crowns and bridges are the most recommended dental implants in the dental industry. They are a solution to missing or damaged teeth. The restorative procedure implements prosthetic machines to restore a natural smile.
Difference between Crowns and Bridges
A crown and a bridge are different in their purposes. A crown protects a damaged or fractured tooth structure while a bridge replaces a missing tooth.
A crown is a vital structure that covers a tooth’s enamel. It is similar in shape and contour to the original tooth and is compatible with the opposite tooth. The design allows proper food chewing and functioning. Depending on the material used in its construction, a crown should look and feel natural.
A bridge is ideally a fixed partial denture. Less expensive than a permanent dental implant, a bridge is a prosthetic tooth replacement made of porcelain and fused to metal.
When Crowns are Necessary
Crowns essentially cover-up and protect damaged teeth or large cavities unfixable with a filling. They’re also used as support structures to protect a fresh root canal from further damage. Crowns are also used in cosmetic dentistry to cover up slightly damaged, misshapen or stained teeth.
The Dental Crown Process
The dental crown placement procedure is minimally invasive and can take only two dental visits. The dentist cleans and numbs the affected area before extracting it to create a healthy and stable platform for your crown.
A professional fabricates the crown in a lab to match your teeth’ size, shape, and color. Till your permanent crown is ready, you’re sent home with a temporary crown. During the second appointment, the dentist fixes the permanent crown using special dental cement.
Understanding Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are usually a pair of dental crowns and at least one fake tooth. They’re an alternative to unstable, uncomfortable, or aesthetically unappealing dentures.
The professional fixes the crowns to the natural teeth on both sides of the gap left by the missing teeth, creating a bridge. The bridge essentially holds a crown in place as a restorative replacement for your missing teeth.
The Dental Bridge Treatment
After receiving an anesthetic, your dentist prepares the teeth on either side of the gap to receive the bridge. 3D impressions and images craft your customized bridge.
Till the permanent restoration is ready, a temporary bridge takes its place. During a second appointment, the dentist fixes a permanent bridge into the gap using dental cement.
Bridges Vs. Other Options
A bridge takes the place of one or more missing teeth. Alternatively, there are two general options for tooth replacement.
A removable partial denture cements the teeth. It rests on adjacent teeth and uses a metal or plastic platform to keep the prosthetic teeth in place.
A dental implant is a relatively expensive alternative, but it gives a more natural appearance. The implant anchors to the jawbone and does not rely on adjacent teeth for support.
Bridges are the best alternative for weak jawbones or those without sufficient space to support a dental implant. Not only are they less expensive, but their installation procedure is less invasive than implant surgery. They’re a suitable choice for patients who are afraid or anxious about invasive dental procedures.
Care and Maintenance of Crowns and Bridges
Crowns and bridges can sometimes fall out or become loose due to damage caused by frozen or extremely cold food like ice or dental disease.
Practicing proper oral hygiene can see crowns and bridges last a long time. Caring for a crown is no different from caring for natural teeth. Brushing twice and flossing once a day keeps your crown safe from decay and infection.
Aspen Heights Dental is a dental practice based in Lehi, Utah. Contact us for more information on crowns and bridges or to schedule an appointment.