What is a Dental Crown?
Dental crowns are common dental restorations used to protect a tooth or dental implant from further damage or infection. When cavities can’t be managed with sealant, a crown may be used to cap your tooth and prevent your condition from worsening. Crowns may also be applied to teeth that have been worn down, heavily decayed, or as part of a root canal procedure.
In addition to their protective benefits, dental crowns improve the appearance of the affected tooth and improve its resilience and stability. Traditionally, crowns would be crafted out of precious metals like gold or silver, but today it’s more common to receive a completely natural-looking porcelain or metal-ceramic crown.
How are Dental Crowns placed?
After a damaged tooth has been cleaned and shaped, your dentist will make an impression of the tooth to be used as a template for creating your crown. A temporary crown may be applied in the meantime to protect from further damage or bacteria. Your permanent crown is developed over one to two weeks to fit your mouth perfectly, after which it can be affixed over your natural tooth with a long-lasting dental adhesive.
What is a Cosmetic Crown?
Cosmetic crowns are used to address issues of appearance when the health of a tooth is not the reason for intervention. This can be an excellent option for teeth that have discolored fillings, appear too small, or are otherwise misshapen.
Your dentist will consult with you about whether cosmetic crowns are a better option to pursue than dental veneers or other cosmetic options. The location of problematic teeth in your mouth will inform your dentist of what material will best serve your needs.
What are Dental Bridges?
If you’re missing a tooth, a dental bridge could be your opportunity to restore a natural-looking smile without the need for dentures. This form of dental restoration uses customized replacement teeth to fill the gap between your natural teeth.
To rebuild your smile, crowns are affixed to the teeth on either side of the gap left by missing teeth. Known as abutments, these teeth will serve as anchors to support the bridge of replacement teeth between them.
Depending on the condition of your mouth and jaw bone, one or more implants may be used for additional support of your replacement bridge. The visible portion of your new replacements will look completely natural and are made from the same types of material as dental crowns.
While the cosmetic benefits of restoring your smile should be apparent, patients eligible for dental bridges also enjoy a number of functional advantages to replacing their missing teeth. Your ability to speak clearly and enjoy food may be significantly improved and the support of your bridge will help maintain the shape of your face. Stress and wear on your natural teeth and jawbone will also be reduced by distributing the force of your bite over the replacement teeth.
What are the different types of Dental Bridges?
The types of dental bridges are divided into three main categories to address specific needs.
- Traditional Bridges are supported by crowns on either side of missing teeth with your replacements filling the gap between.
- Cantilever Bridges are supported by crowned natural teeth on only one side of the bridge. This type requires less total intervention but is generally unsuitable for replacement teeth that will undergo a great deal of stress or wear like back molars.
- Maryland Bridges have “wings”, relying on a metal framework behind a replacement tooth which is bonded to the backs of supporting teeth on either side. Maryland bridges don’t necessarily require crowns on supporting teeth.
Your dentist will discuss their reasons for selecting the best type of dental bridge to address your specific needs.
How will I care for my Dental Bridges?
Your dental bridges will require the same care as your natural teeth for the best, longest-lasting results. This means regular oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing, along with regularly scheduled checkups and cleanings at your doctor. With proper care and attention, dental bridges can last up to 15 years or longer.
Learn What Dental Crowns & Bridges Could Mean For You
Discover how dental crowns or bridges can enhance your smile while offering protection from oral health concerns! Schedule an appointment at our Calgary offices by calling (403) 271-2661.