If you've lost a tooth, your dentist may recommend dental crowns or bridges. Here, our Grande Prairie dentists help to explain the difference and what you can expect from your tooth replacement.
What are dental crowns and bridges?
Crowns and bridges are dental restorations that your dentist uses to replace missing teeth. They are natural-looking replacements that can be used for a single missing tooth or a section of teeth.
Dental bridges and crowns are frequently used in tandem. A bridge typically consists of two crowns on either side of the middle replacement tooth, which physically spans the space left by the missing teeth. If the teeth on either side of the gap are strong enough to support a bridge, this will work.
A dental crown covers a tooth's visible portion to improve its strength and appearance. It can strengthen weak teeth, repair cracked teeth, cover misshapen or discoloured teeth, and anchor dental bridges. A metal (like gold), porcelain & metal, resin, ceramic, or stainless steel are all possible materials for crowns.
Bridges are dental appliances that incorporate crowns and artificial teeth. They help to stabilize surrounding teeth, ensuring they don't shift out of place and fill the gap of missing teeth.
- Dental crowns and bridges help support facial tissue
- They make speaking and eating easier
- They prevent the shifting of surrounding teeth, improving the long-term health of your mouth
- They can renew your confidence when smiling with a more uniform appearance
Placing Crowns & Bridges
Your dentist will prepare healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth. This involves filing them to the shapes and sizes required to allow for the crowns to be placed.
Placing a dental bridge is not surgical, and patients are awake during the procedure. However, if you suffer from dental anxiety, your dentist may offer techniques to reduce your fear or suggest dental sedation as a way to help you relax. Speak to your dentist to see if this is a solution for you.
Your dentist will measure your mouth and record the impressions of the adjacent teeth to ensure that your bridge will fit properly. Sometimes temporary crowns are made, which must be taken out before the permanent one is inserted.
Your dentist will numb the area receiving the crowns and bridge by using local anesthesia. The bridge will then be cemented in place.
In the case of multiple missing teeth or teeth that aren't able to support the bridge, the bridge could be anchored to dental implants. Your dentist will discuss your options with you.
What to Expect
Recovery time is quite short, with most people adapting to their new replacement teeth immediately.
Like natural teeth, crowns and bridges require daily brushing and flossing. They are remarkably strong and can withstand everyday use, including biting and chewing. Crowns and bridges are a great long-term solution for missing teeth because, with proper care, they should last for about 10 years.