Dental Bridges & Crowns

Dental Bridges & Crowns

Dental bridges and crowns are restorative options for replacing and restoring missing or damaged teeth. These restorations help to protect the rest of the teeth by keeping them from migrating into the space of missing teeth. Ultimately, the goal of any dental restoration is to bring back your natural smile and prevent future oral health issues, such as loosened or misshapen teeth.

What is a dental bridge?

A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth. Just like a bridge over a river starts and ends on land, a bridge in your mouth must attach to the surrounding teeth for support. Your bridge can be made from gold, alloy or porcelain.

What is a dental crown?

Crowns cover your teeth like little hats. But instead of keeping your teeth nice and toasty, crowns help rebuild damaged teeth back up to their original shapes, sizes, strength, and improve their appearance. When cemented into place, crowns encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

You’ll most likely need a crown if a tooth breaks down and a filling won’t be enough to fix it. If your tooth cracks, a crown will seal the crevices and hold the tooth together so the damage doesn’t worsen. If you have a tooth that’s not strong enough to support a large filling, a crown can correct that too.

Crowns are also a great solution for attaching bridges and restoring fractured teeth. If you have a tooth that’s bothering you because it looks offbeat, a crown can reshape it. And if your teeth are purple, green or some other shade besides tooth-colored, crowns will hide the discoloration.

What are the benefits of dental bridges?

Dental bridges provide many benefits to patients including:

  • Restores your natural smile
  • Restores your natural ability to chew and speak
  • Maintains the shape of your face
  • Redistributes the forces in your bite by replacing missing teeth
  • Prevents remaining teeth from drifting out of position

What are the benefits of dental crowns?

Dental crowns offer the following benefits to patients:

  • Protects a weak tooth from breaking
  • Holds together parts of a cracked tooth
  • Restores an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
  • Covers and supports a tooth with a large filling
  • Holds a dental bridge in place
  • Covers misshaped or severely discolored teeth
  • Covers a dental implant
  • Makes a cosmetic modification
  • Restores your ability to chew and speak properly
  • Maintains the shape of your face
  • Redistributes the forces in your bite by replacing missing teeth
  • Prevents remaining teeth from drifting out of position

Are dental crowns recommended for children?

A dental crown may be recommended for children under the following circumstances:

  • To save a primary baby tooth that has been so damaged by decay that it can’t support a filling.
  • To protect the teeth of a child at high risk for tooth decay, especially when a child has difficulty keeping up with daily oral hygiene.
  • To decrease the frequency of general anesthesia for children unable to cooperate with requirements of proper dental care because of age, behavior, or medical history.

What can you expect during a consultation for a dental bridge?

During your consultation, your doctor will

  • Go over your medical and dental history
  • Examine your mouth and area being considered for bridgework
  • Order x-rays
  • Take a scan of your teeth

Following your exam, your dentist will assess whether or not the teeth that would hold the bridge would need some work prior to the bridge being made.  For example, some patients may need a root canal on one of the teeth before the bridge is started. Once any foundation work has been completed, your dentist will schedule you for an appointment for bridgework.   

What is the process for getting a dental bridge?

The process for getting a dental bridge involves the following steps:

  • Local anesthesia is administered around the teeth to numb the area.
  • Teeth are reshaped to the required size to make space for the bridge. Depending on the size of the bridge, this could take up to an hour to do.
  • CAD/CAM technology is used to make your bridge from a block of ceramic. The machine actually makes this into a bridge using a scan of the teeth and the gap between.
  • The bridge is then fitted and glued into place.

What can you expect during a consultation for a dental crown?

During your consultation for a dental crown, your doctor will

  • Review your medical and dental history with you
  • Examine your mouth and area being considered for a crown

Your dentist may take a few X-rays to check the root of the tooth and surrounding bone. If the tooth has extensive decay or if there is a risk of infection or injury to the tooth’s pulp, your dentist may recommend that you have a root canal done before you have a dental crown placed.

What is the process for getting a dental crown?

If you are interested in CEREC same-day crowns, check out the process here.

How do you care for your dental bridges or crowns?

Bridges and crowns can last a lifetime, as long as you practice good oral hygiene:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily.
  • Schedule regular check-ups for professional cleanings and dental exam.
  • Avoid chewing hard foods and ice.

How long do dental bridges and crowns last?

If you take proper care of your dental bridges and crowns, they can last up to 15 years and sometimes even longer.

 

If you are interested in dental bridges or same-day crowns, call Belmont Family Dentistry at (503) 234-1218 to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.