"Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love." - Mother Theresa
Crowns are a type of dental restoration which, when cemented into place, fully cup over the portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. In comparison, fillings are dental restorations that fill in or cover over just a portion of a tooth. Since dental crowns encase the entire visible aspect of a tooth, a dental crown in effect becomes the tooth's new outer surface. Crowns can be made out of porcelain (meaning some sort of dental ceramic), metal (a gold or other metal alloy), or a combination of both.
Why do teeth need dental crowns?
A dentist might recommend placing a dental crown for a variety of reasons but, in general, most of these reasons will usually fall within one of the following basic categories:
- To restore a tooth to its original shape.
- To strengthen a tooth.
- To improve the cosmetic appearance of a tooth.
Dental crowns can be used to restore a tooth?s shape and strength. Since a dental crown that has been cemented into place essentially becomes the new outer surface for the tooth, it is easy to imagine how the placement of a crown can restore a tooth to its original shape. It's also easy to see how a dental crown can help to strengthen a tooth by way of being a hard outer shell that encases the tooth structure that lies within it. For both of these reasons, dental crowns are routinely made for teeth that have broken, worn excessively, or else have had large portions destroyed by tooth decay.
Dental crowns are fabricated in a dental laboratory. After a plaster model is made of your teeth and mouth, a dental technician uses this model to produce your crown. The laboratory technician can visualize and examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements, from a variety of angles, and then sculpt your dental crown so it has the perfect anatomy, ensuring a perfect fit.
What is a dental bridge?
Achieving a natural looking and realistic smile after tooth loss is possible with dental bridges. Dental bridges are one method used by dentists to fill a gap created by a missing tooth (or teeth).
A dental bridge is made up of two dental crowns for the surrounding teeth and then an artificial tooth in between. Natural teeth, dental implants, or a combination of natural teeth and dental implants can be used to support the bridge. The dental bridge type you choose depends on the condition of your remaining teeth, your financial considerations, and the cosmetic results you desire. Whether you are looking for a temporary or permanent tooth loss solution, there is a dental bridge ideally suited for your needs.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are three types of dental bridges:
This type of dental bridge consists of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap, with an artificial tooth in between. Traditional bridges are the most commonly used type of dental bridge and are made of ceramic or porcelain fused to metal. If there are no surrounding teeth to support the crowns, dental implants can be used to fix the bridge in place.
This type of dental bridge is used when there are teeth on only one side of the gap in the mouth. Two crowns fused to the replacement tooth are used to fix the bridge to the adjacent natural teeth.
Maryland Bonded Bridge
This type of dental bridge is made up of plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal framework. The bonded dental bridge is generally lower in cost than other types of bridges and is the most simple to apply.
The Dental Bridge Procedure
Our team will begin your dental bridge procedure by filing down the adjacent teeth to accommodate the crowns. Then, the dentist will take impressions of the teeth, which will be used to create the dental crowns.
Once the crowns are finished, the artificial tooth (or teeth) will be bonded to them. When the dental bridge is ready, a return visit to the dentist will be necessary to place it on the teeth. During your final visit, the dentist securely cements the crowns over the surrounding teeth to complete your smile. With proper care, dental bridges will last five to seven years and, in some cases, longer. However, it is important to take proper care of your dental bridge to extend its life and maintain the health of your gums and natural teeth. Daily brushing and flossing, in addition to regularly scheduled dental exams, will keep your dental bridge and oral health in top condition.
If your dental bridge is in need of repair, it is recommended that you visit a dentist as soon as possible to fix the problem. Delaying repairs may negatively affect your bite, cause gingival discomfort or infection, or create other serious dental heath issues requiring additional treatment.
The Cost of Dental Bridges
The cost for a dental bridge varies depending on the type of bridge used. When compared to dental implants, dental bridges are considered a cost effective tooth replacement option that may be covered by your insurance plan. If you require a dental bridge, rest assured that our team will fully discuss the procedure, as well as financial considerations, with you.