Dental crowns and bridges are two of the most convenient teeth replacement and restoration options available in dentistry today. However, apart from replacing missing teeth, there are several other dental problems that crowns and bridges can be used to fix.
In this article, we’ll discuss all you need to know about dental crowns and bridges and the problems that your dentist can use them to correct.
What are dental crowns?
Dental crowns are false teeth custom-made to fit over implants or existing teeth that are weak, broken, or damaged. These tooth-shaped coverings encase and protect the visible part of an existing tooth that would otherwise be in danger of breaking and restores its shape and size. A crown can also replace a missing tooth (when attached to a dental implant) or strengthen and improve the appearance of a damaged tooth.
Dental crowns are made of porcelain, gold, metal with resin or porcelain, or a combination of metals. Depending on the material used, a dental crown can be strong, durable, and mimic the appearance of a natural tooth.
What are dental bridges?
Dental bridges are prosthetic devices mainly used as replacement teeth for one or more missing teeth. Bridges have two crowns – one on either side of the gap – and a replacement teeth bridge that sits on the gums where there are missing teeth. Dentists can fuse the crowns (the false teeth on either side of the bridge) to existing teeth or dental implants surrounding the empty space.
As with crowns, bridges reshape and protect teeth that have undergone significant destruction and help to avoid complications from tooth loss. They also come in many different varieties. The right dental bridge for a particular clinical situation depends on the dental practitioner’s preferences, financial situations, patients’ desires, geographical location, etc.
How long do dental crowns and bridges last?
The durability and lifespan of your dental crowns or bridges depend on the material used in manufacturing them and how well you maintain them. Dental crowns and bridges typically last between 5 to 15 years. However, they can last for more than 30 years with excellent oral health habits. That’s why we recommend visiting your dentist at least twice a year, practicing good oral hygiene, and avoiding teeth clenching, chewing on hard foods or objects, or using your teeth as a tool.
Problems that dental crowns and bridges can correct
Dental bridges and crowns can be an effective solution for a variety of dental problems. Apart from replacing missing teeth, your dentist may recommend crowns or bridges to fix the following dental issues:
Treat extensive tooth decay
If you have minor tooth decay, your dentist can restore your tooth with an appropriate dental filling material. However, if the decay is extensive, your dentist may recommend an indirect tooth restoration option like a dental crown and bridge to save your tooth.
During the process, your dentist will remove the decayed area of your teeth, shave down your teeth, and cover them with temporary crowns. During your next visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crowns and fuse the permanent crowns or bridges to your teeth to protect them and restore your smile.
Fix appearance and chewing problems
Missing teeth do not just affect the quality of your smile; it can also change your face and jawbone structure, thereby distorting your facial features. Neighboring or adjacent teeth can shift or rotate into your teeth’s gaps and lead to a bad bite. Your teeth imbalances can increase your chances of developing issues like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, tooth decay, and gum disease.
However, with dental crowns and bridges, you can avoid these problems, restore your smile’s good aesthetics, increase your confidence, and restore your teeth’ chewing capabilities.
Weak large fillings
A dental crown or bridge may be required to restore a tooth with a fracture or cavity about half of the tooth’s width or more. In situations like this, the tooth around a large filling is weak and more prone to fracture, so covering it with a crown will help to protect and strengthen it. Dental crowns and bridges can also replace a large dental filling, especially if there are cracks or signs of stress around the filling.
Broken, cracked, or chipped tooth
If your back teeth are badly broken or cracked, getting a crown or bridge may be needed to restore their look and chewing or biting pressure. Saving a tooth is usually possible when you spot a crack early enough. Your dentist may fill the crack, but it can spread further or worsen if a dental crown is not used to strengthen your tooth.
Speech and pronunciation problems
If your front teeth are missing, pronouncing certain words or forming specific sounds would be challenging, impeding your normal speech. However, dental crowns and bridges will not just restore your teeth but also fix your speech and pronunciation problems.
A root canal treatment helps save and repair an infected or badly damaged tooth. This treatment, however, leaves the tooth hollowed, making it more susceptible to cracking and breaking. In many cases, patients who have undergone this treatment need a crown to protect and restore the tooth to its original function.
Acidic food and drinks and vigorous tooth brushing can erode your enamel and present you with symptoms that range from discoloration to tooth sensitivity. If you have a significant enamel loss, your dentist may recommend covering your tooth with a dental crown.
The best dental crowns & bridges in Pineville
Ready to restore your smile and take control of your oral health? The dental professionals at Radiant Smiles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry can help! We offer the best dental crowns and bridges in Pineville, NC, to fix your dental issues and restore confidence in your radiant smile.