Crowns and Bridges
Dental crowns and bridges are custom-fitted tooth prosthetics that are used to replace or restore damaged or missing teeth due to tooth decay, a broken tooth, gum disease, teeth grinding, periodontal disease, and other dental issues.
Both crowns and bridges are non-removable and must be permanently cemented in place by a licensed dentist. Patients who get crown or bridges to restore their smiles achieve both the function and appearance of natural, healthy teeth.
What Are Dental Crowns?
Crowns—also known as caps—are fixed over the surfaces of natural tooth structures or dental implants.
The purpose of a permanent crown is to protect, cover, and restore the shape of your teeth when traditional fillings aren’t effective. While many patients receive metal or resin crowns, there are also porcelain crowns and even ceramic crowns. Historically, metal crowns were the norm—you’ve probably seen gold crowns and wondered if that was the only option!
Thankfully, today’s dental crowns are much better than the traditional crown you’re probably picturing. They can be a natural color match with your other teeth, and can blend in seamlessly with your adjacent teeth. Additionally, they can be placed on front or back teeth—your tooth’s location is not a concern.
Permanent crowns typically doesn’t require special care over time other than proper dental care and good oral hygiene.
There are several reasons why you may need a dental crown:
- Protection of an entire tooth if it is weak, chipped, or breaking;
- Restoration of a weak tooth or a tooth that is broken or severely worn down;
- Reinforcing a tooth that is mostly made up of filling material;
- Keeping a dental bridge in place;
- Covering the tooth’s shape or color;
- Covering a dental implant;
- Covering a tooth after a root canal has been performed.
A temporary crown is a dental crown that only remains in your mouth for a short period of time. It protects the underlying tooth while you wait for your permanent crown placement.
We will place it over your prepared tooth with an easily-removable adhesive, so it won’t be as strong as a permanent crown. This will cover the entire visible portion of your tooth to protect it against further decay while you wait for your permanent crown.
The permanent crown will be placed on your tooth at a second appointment.
What Are Bridges?
Bridges are used to fill in the gaps left by missing teeth, and are anchored in place by the natural teeth or crowns nearest the empty space.
Missing teeth can severely compromise your oral health, not to mention the aesthetics of your smile. If you are dealing with missing teeth, including front teeth, a dental bridge can help restore the look and function of your teeth. It literally bridges the gap where the tooth used to be.
Why You May Need a Dental Bridge
For proper dental health, your teeth need to work together. If one or more of your teeth is missing, adjacent teeth may shift into the empty space. Additionally, the teeth in your opposite jaw may end up moving up or down toward the space. The following problems may result from this issue:
- Problems with your bite;
- Difficulty chewing food;
- Pain from the stress on your teeth and jaw;
- Hesitancy about your smile.
You shouldn’t have to live with these problems. If you have a missing tooth (or more), it’s time to receive dental services and make it right! Call our dentist’s office immediately and ask about receiving a dental bridge.
How to Know If a Crown or Bridge Is Right for You
If you have a tooth that is damaged or decayed, but still intact, a dental crown may be right for you.
If your tooth is missing, but its former position is surrounded by other tooth structures, a bridge may be the solution for you.
Schedule an office consultation at Comprehensive Dentistry to determine whether you could benefit from crowns or bridges. We will go over your medical history and your dental insurance, and will help you find the right solution.
What to Expect When You Have Your Crown or Bridge Placed
If you are a candidate for a crown or bridge, your teeth will be reduced to ensure a proper fit. An impression will then be taken of your bite and used to fabricate a mold for the crown or bridge.
If you are choosing porcelain prosthesis, its color will be matched to the natural shade of your other teeth.
If a dental lab is making your crown or bridge, you may be fitted with a temporary restoration until the permanent one is ready for placement.
Post-Treatment Care Guidelines
Your teeth will need time to heal following the crown and bridge placement process, so it is normal for you to experience sensitive teeth—especially heat and cold sensitivity. You should also avoid chewing hard foods while you are recovering.
Additionally, you may experience soreness in the gums surrounding your restorations, though this is usually manageable with ibuprofen and should subside within a few days.
Contact Us Today to Schedule an Appointment
Whether you’re dealing with a damaged tooth, a chipped crown, problems with gum tissue, or another dental issue, contact Comprehensive Dentistry and come in and see us at our Ypsilanti, MI dental office.