Typically crowns and bridges are the most common treatment method recommended for those who are missing teeth. Here, our Calgary dentists help to explain the difference between crowns and bridges and what to expect from the treatment.
What are dental crowns and dental bridges?
Crowns and bridges are dental restorations that your dentist uses to replace missing teeth. They are natural-looking replacements that can be used for a single missing tooth or a section of teeth.
Dental crowns and bridges are often used together. A bridge generally consists of a tooth replacement in the middle and two crowns at either side, that literally bridge 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.
The Benefits of Treatment with 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
How Crowns & Bridges are Placed
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.
If you have too many teeth missing for a bridge to be easily utilized, your dentist may recommend anchoring the bridge to dental implants. Your dentist will be able to further discuss this and other options with you.
What to Expect After a Crown or Bridge Procedure
Recovery time after a crown or bridge procedure is incredibly short with most people utilizing their teeth as usual right away.
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.