Dental crown and bridge: Do you need it?
You may have encountered stunning pearly whites on dental infomercials and wished your smile looked just as beautiful. If you have been dealing with gross tooth damage, you may feel like your smile is being irrefutably disputed. Tooth fracture and breakage can be attributed to various contact sports and violent accidents and may be a contributing factor in the disruption of the idealistic properties of a complete and proper dentition.
If left untreated or with delayed treatment, it can cause the regression of the condition and cause irreversible damage to your teeth and the health of your mouth as a whole. Dental crowns and bridges help repair broken teeth and help you show off your beautiful gleaming smile.
What are dental crowns and bridges?
Dental crowns and bridges are fixed dental prosthetic devices that are fitted onto an already existing tooth/teeth in order to restore the proper function of the compromised tooth/teeth. Teeth that have been fractured or broken due to a dental ailment, impact, or other causative agents may be effectively corrected and fixed with the help of dental crowns and bridges.
How do dental crown work?
A dental crown is a cover or a ‘cap’ that is snapped into place on top of a prepared tooth in order to restore the structure of the tooth. Since a crown is placed over the tooth, it can not only strengthen a damaged tooth but can also improve the quality of shape, alignment, and appearance. The tooth is prepared prior to capping, after which a dental crown is placed and fixed on top of the tooth covering the entire tooth surface with the help of a bonding agent.
A crown can be fabricated with three different materials, all-metal, ceramic-on-metal, and all-ceramic. Metal and gold alloys are tougher materials that are preferably used for the rear teeth. The choice of material selection is done based on the location of the crown to be placed.
One of the most highly regarded benefits of porcelain crowns, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, is that they are able to not only replicate the original tooth in function but can also be designed or customized to look like the original tooth or even better. Unlike dental veneers, crowns cover the entire surfaces of the tooth and are thicker, thus highly indicated in cases where strength is primal and the damage is critical.
How do dental bridges work?
A dental bridge is recommended for patients who are missing multiple teeth that line continuously in between teeth that are strong enough to support the load of the other artificial teeth. Gaps left between teeth can cause the gradual gravitation of the immediately neighboring teeth into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite and other jaw issues.
Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more teeth in between viable live teeth. They are cemented onto natural teeth or implants surrounding the space. These teeth are called abutments and serve as anchors for the bridge to stabilize. A replacement tooth, called a pontic is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments.
When are dental crowns and bridges recommended?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the fixation of a dental crown or bridge (if multiple teeth are damaged or lost) may be permitted in the following cases:
- Isolated fractured tooth caused by accidents or trauma to restore them
- As a safety protocol following a root canal treatment in order to protect the tooth from potential infection and food lodgement
- On top of a dental implant to act as an abutment that looks and functions like a natural tooth and assists in masticatory function like one
- To replace a large tooth filling when the adequate tooth surface is not available
- Weak, worn, brittle teeth can be protected from fracturing by placing a dental crown or bridge over them
- To cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth for refined aesthetics as part of a comprehensive cosmetic treatment plan
- To replace a missing tooth to avoid shifting of the remaining teeth, resulting in a bad bite, gum disease, and even TMJ disorders.
Dental crown procedure -How it works?
Prolonged loss of teeth can gaslight the health of the rest of the teeth and the oral cavity as a whole. Any missing, damaged, or compromised tooth should be replaced immediately after the traumatic incident.
In order to create a suitable dental crown or bridge for you, the dentist begins with the preparation of your teeth by reshaping the tooth/teeth and providing adequate space for the dental crown or bridge to seat. A molded impression of the teeth is recorded and sent to the laboratory for the fabrication of a patient-specific dental crown or bridge. A well-fitted, temporary crown is created during this visit to temporarily protect the tooth against food lodgement and infection while the final restorative crown or bridge is being made.
Following the trimming of the dental crown or bridge as per the fitting on the patient’s tooth/teeth, the teeth are etched with a dental adhesive, and the bonding agent is washed off. Dental crowns or bridges are then permanently cemented onto your teeth surfaces in a process called bonding. The dentist places the crown or bridge on the teeth to check for flawless fit and comfort.
How to care for your dental crown or bridge?
Just like natural teeth, dental crowns, and bridges can get damaged or chipped. The tooth underneath is still capable of getting cavities or other dental problems so it is important to ensure proper care for prolonging the life cycle of the dental crown and bridges.
- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss with dental floss or interdental cleaners at least once a day as recommended by the ADA.
- Use only oral care products that have the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance, as this tells you that they meet ADA standards for safety and effectiveness.
- Avoid chewing hard foods like ice or candies, or other hard objects like pencils as it could break the dental crowns or bridges.
- If you are a nocturnal teeth-grinder, your dentist may recommend an oral brace or mouthguard for you to wear while sleeping.
- Visit your dentist regularly or at least twice a year for professional teeth cleanings.
Dental crowns and bridges have a great success rate and amazing life expectancy. They are viable to last a lifetime if one practices good oral hygiene and proper post-placement care. 4Smile helps you choose the best dentists near you to give you dental crowns and bridges that can help restore your teeth. Contact 4Smile for your safest bet at a beautiful smile!