Have you lost a tooth? If you answered yes, your dentist might have recommended a dental bridge or crown for your tooth replacement. In this post, our Taber dentists share the differences between dental crowns and bridges.
Dental crowns & Dental Bridges
Dentists use bridges and crowns to replace missing teeth. These replacements look fairly natural and could be used for one missing tooth or an area of missing teeth.
In many cases, dental bridges and crowns are used together. A bridge usually contains a tooth replacement in the middle and two crowns on both sides, bridging the gap of missing teeth. This is effective if the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are healthy enough to support a bridge.
A dental crown caps the surface of a tooth, restoring its strength and appearance. It can protect weak teeth, restore broken teeth, cover teeth that are misshapen or discoloured, and secure dental bridges. Crowns can be made of stainless steel, a metal (such as gold), porcelain and metal, resin, or ceramic.
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.
- They can renew your confidence when smiling with a more uniform appearance
- They make speaking and eating easier
- Dental crowns and bridges help support facial tissue
- They prevent the shifting of surrounding teeth, improving the long-term health of your mouth
The Application of 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.
In the case of multiple missing teeth or teeth that aren't able to support the bridge, the bridge could be anchored to dental implants. Your dentist will discuss your options with you.
What You Could Expect
The usual recovery time after receiving crowns and bridges is fairly short, and many patients have said they were able to adapt to these tooth replacements immediately.
You will have to brush your crowns and bridges every day, just as you would your natural teeth. They are relatively durable and can withstand normal use such as chewing and biting. If you properly care for your replacements they could last approximately 10 years, which could make bridges and crowns an excellent option for replacing missing teeth.