No patient likes the thought of needing to undergo dental treatment, but despite our best efforts to take care of our teeth and prolong their health and purpose for as long as we possibly can, problems still occur. As such, dental restorations are needed by virtually all of us at some point or other during our lifetime. There are many different types of restoration available and which you will need will depend on the type of dental problem you have.
Crowns and bridges are two of the most frequently placed restorations. Both are permanent, fixed prosthetic devices that enable you to restore or replace a severely decayed, damaged or eroded tooth. In doing so, patients can reap the benefits of renewed use of their tooth, as well as a complete, attractive and natural smile.
What are crowns?
After cavity fillings, crowns are the most common type of dental restoration given to patients in the United States. They are most often recommended for patients who:
- Need a large filling, but one that is larger than the tooth can support
- Have a tooth at risk of breaking
- Have a tooth that is broken and needs to be held together
- Have undergone root canal treatment and need the affected tooth covered so that re-infection cannot occur
- Have a tooth that is undersized, misshapen or discolored and the patient would like cosmetic improvement
- Are having a dental implant
- Require a dental bridge
As their name suggests, crowns sit atop the affected tooth, encasing it inside. The crown extends right down to the gum, meaning that the underlying tooth can no longer be affected by decay or infection. The tooth beneath is prepared before the crown is placed, with any infected or decayed areas removed and the tooth filed down enough for the crown to sit over the top of it. In some instances, a severely eroded or worn tooth may require building up so that it can adequately support the crown.
Each crown is custom-designed for the specific patient so that it is the perfect shape, size and color to blend in with the rest of your smile. This makes the solution extremely discreet and cosmetically natural, as well as being a functional repair that ensures that you can use the tooth as normal.
What are bridges?
Dental bridges are a type of dental restoration that are recommended for patients who have a tooth that is already missing or that require a dental extraction. The purpose of a bridge is to replace a missing tooth so that there is no longer a visible gap in your smile, and so that the way that you use your teeth is not adversely affected.
A bridge is made from a row of prosthetic crowns that have been custom-designed to fill the gap and to fit over the teeth on either side of the space. This is important because it is the crowns placed on your natural teeth either side of the space that secure the bridge in place. These crowns are attached in exactly the same way as single crowns, placed over the top of pre-prepared teeth and secured using dental cement.
If you would like to find out more about dental crowns or bridges, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable and experienced dentistry team, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices.