You may hear about dental crowns and bridges from your dentist if you've lost a tooth. Here, our dentists in the Okanagan Valley explain the differences between the two and what you can expect from your tooth replacement.
What are dental crowns and dental bridges?
Dental crowns and bridges may be options for you if you need to replace a single missing tooth or a section of teeth. Your dentist may recommend them as natural-looking tooth replacements.
Dental crowns and bridges are often paired to be used together. Generally, a bridge consists of a tooth replacement in the middle and two crowns placed on each side. The bridge literally bridges the gap of missing teeth. This is effective if you have healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth that will support a bridge.
The surface of the tooth is capped with a dental crown, restoring its appearance and strength. The crown can protect weak teeth, cover teeth that are misshapen or discoloured, restore broken teeth, and secure dental bridges. Crowns may be comprised of stainless steel, a metal (such as gold), metal and porcelain, ceramic and resin.
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.
Why We Use Crowns & Bridges
- 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.
To ensure your bridge will fit your mouth, your dentist will take measurements and imprints of the surrounding teeth. In some cases, temporary crowns may be made which would need to be removed when the permanent one is being placed.
Your dentist will numb the area receiving the crowns and bridge by using local anesthesia. The bridge will then be cemented in place.
What to Expect
Recovery time is quite short, with most people adapting to their new replacement teeth immediately.
Crowns and bridges need to be brushed and flossed daily, just like natural teeth. They are quite durable and can withstand normal use such as biting and chewing. If you take proper care of them, they should last about 10 years, making crowns and bridges a great long-term solution for missing teeth.