What are Dental Crowns?
A dental crown: The crown on your tooth is the area just below the gumline on your top row of teeth, and above the gumline on your bottom teeth. A dental crown is created to cover this area to address a variety of tooth conditions.
What are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are used to fill in missing teeth and are combined with crowns. When a single tooth needs to be replaced, a bridge can be used in place of complete implants or dentures.
Benefits of Dental Crowns & Bridges
- Appearance — Crowns can fill in gaps, brighten teeth, and make them appear straighter or more aligned. They can also be used to cover teeth and can include porcelain veneers to completely cover imperfections on the front teeth.
- Fillings — If a tooth has a very large cavity that encompasses the majority of the tooth, then a crown may need to be applied instead of a traditional feeling. The appearance will be much smoother and more natural. It also strengthens the tooth, since such a large filling could easily be cracked.
- Root canals and other treatments — Crowns are often used in conjunction with other treatments. Teeth that undergo root canals are often covered with crowns since they have been hollowed out and can crack easily. Crowns are used with dental implants to fill in any unnatural gaps between the natural teeth and the implants.
Although there are many reasons crowns are used in dentistry, these are the most common. They are also commonly used alongside bridges.
How are they applied?
Typically, healthy teeth on both sides of the missing tooth are fit with crowns to properly accommodate the new tooth being put in. Then, a pontic, a single dental implant, is put between them. This process not only gives your teeth a more natural, uniform look, but helps the pontic stay strong and in place.
When only crowns are needed to fill in gaps or cover a tooth, the process is different. If fillings or root canals are required, the area needs to be built up with filling material to properly hold the crown.
Next, the tooth will be shaved down to allow the crown to fit on and between the teeth. Your dentist will record the shade of your tooth and take a mold impression to guide the construction of your crown. While it is being made, you are given a temporary crown. When the crown is ready, you will return and the temporary crown is removed. The permanent crown is applied to the tooth, and shaved down and shaped to look just like the adjacent teeth.
Before and Afters:
Maintenance & Care for Crowns & Bridges
Care required for dental bridges and crowns is the same as caring for your own teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings are all that is needed. You do need to be attentive, though, because if a tooth with a crown on it decays, it is more prone to cracking and damage due to the weight of the crown.
When getting a crown or bridge will I need anesthetic?
This depends on the procedure being performed. If you are having a cavity filled, or root canal done, then you will have already gotten some sort of anesthetic. However, if you are simply returning to have your permanent crowns put on anesthesia is usually not necessary. This, of course, depends on your pain tolerance.
How long will my crowns and bridges last?
Crowns and bridges typically last from 5-15 years, depending on the health of your teeth, and how well you take care of them. Weak or damaged teeth will not be able to hold the crown as well, so it will be on the lower end of the lifespan spectrum. However, if you take good care of your teeth and they are strong to begin with, you can expect crowns and bridges to last up to 15 years.
Schedule a consultation
If you are interested in learning more about dental crowns & dental bridges, and would like to see if you are a good candidate, call (304) 754-8803 to schedule a consultation at our office in Hedgesville, WV.