Fix your smile with crowns and bridges!
Losing a tooth is one of the worst things that could happen to you, especially if it is a tooth sitting in the front area of your mouth. However, a dental extraction is not always the only solution for a severely damaged tooth. A prosthetic restoration, such as a crown, can be used to save your tooth in cases of extensive caries or fractures. Not only does it allow you to maintain it, but it can also improve your appearance and boosts your confidence. However, if you already lost a tooth, then a bridge may be the solution you’re looking for. In this article, we’ll explain what crowns and bridges are and how they can help you smile again.
What are crowns and bridges?
They are prosthetic restorations cemented on top of severely damaged teeth while acting as a cap or a cover to restore function and aesthetics. They can be made of different materials, such as metal, ceramic, or porcelain. Unlike traditional composite fillings where the dentist does the restoration directly over the tooth, these custom-made prostheses are fabricated in a dental laboratory and then delivered to the office so the dentist can fix them over your tooth.
However, thanks to contemporary dentistry, many dentists possess milling machines that allow them to do them themselves and speed up the process. What’s the difference between a crown and a bridge? They both possess the same structure and principles. However, crowns only restore the tooth they are covering while bridges replace one or more missing teeth.
The teeth at each side of the gap left behind by a missing tooth are used as pillars to fix the bridge. Each pillar will be receiving a crown, and they both will be attached to the fake teeth that will cover the gap. Therefore, a bridge is made of a false tooth and a crown at both ends of it. It is essential to know that both crowns and bridges can also be fixed over dental implants.
Types of materials
You can choose between different materials for your crown or bridge, such as:
- Metal: Although it is not aesthetically pleasing, metal crowns and bridges are highly resistant and durable. Its use is limited to posterior molars.
- Porcelain: It possesses excellent optic properties as it reflects light in a similar way to the enamel. They are designed to match your natural teeth’ color. Therefore, achieving a highly realistic and natural look. This type of material can be used on anterior teeth.
- Porcelain fused to metal: This combines the resistance of metal with the optical properties of the porcelain. Its metal core allows it to sustain occlusal forces while the porcelain gives it a natural finish.
However, although the metal is not visible, the aesthetic quality of these types of crowns and bridges is not as high as their metal-free counterparts. They can be used in both anterior and posterior teeth.
- Zirconia: A popular ceramic material with great resistance and optical properties. Due to its resistance, it can withstand heavy occlusion forces. Also, it can be used for aesthetic posterior cases without the need for a metal core and on anterior teeth.
- E-Max (lithium disilicate): This ceramic also combines strength and aesthetics. It is highly durable with a low risk of chipping.
- Except for the metallic option, which is aimed to restore function, every other alternative will deliver an outstanding aesthetic result.
What is the process to get a crown or a bridge?
This type of treatment usually requires multiple visits to the dentist before finishing. First, the dentist takes a dental impression and performs a thorough clinical and radiological evaluation. After that, he may select the matching color for the prosthesis and begin the tooth preparation. Afterward, he proceeds to take a new dental impression of the fully prepared tooth to be delivered to the dental laboratory and place a temporary crown on the tooth. Lastly, the dental laboratory delivers the finished prosthesis back to the dentist, so he can replace the temporary crown with this new one. Therefore, restoring your tooth functionality and aesthetic.
How long does a crown last?
Both crowns and bridges have an average lifespan of 10 – 30 years. However, this will depend on the care you have with your restoration. Same as with a natural tooth, you must brush them to prevent tartar build-ups and gum disease around them. Conclusively, crowns and bridges are the perfect solutions for you if you do have extensive cavities and tooth loss. As they entirely cover the tooth, not only do they protect it but restore its function and aesthetic so you can eat properly once again while having a harmonic smile. Furthermore, their strength and resistance allow them to perfectly withstand the forces inside the mouth, letting you rest assured that there won’t be any issue with them in the near future.
Let’s get started. Request An Appointment for Dental Crowns
Dr. Rahaf Suede, DDS at Great Lakes Smiles Dental is trusted by many patients in Plymouth and surrounding areas for comprehensive dental care. She is recognized for her high quality dental treatment and patient satisfaction. Contact her now for an appointment Call (734) 459-9360