When a dental filling is no longer enough

With good home care and regular visits to the dentist, many of us go through life with only occasional need for dental care beyond cleanings, teeth whitening and the occasional filling. But through no fault of our own, the time can come when we need a more serious dental procedure such as a crown. And if you’ve already had crowns, the time may come when you need a bridge.

Here’s some important information about two of the most common dental procedures that might be new to you:

Dental crowns and tooth bridges
Unlike removable dental devices such as dentures, crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants, and only your dentist is meant to remove them.

Understanding the crown
Dental Crowns & BridgesYour dentist may recommend a crown to:
• Cap a damaged tooth and protect it by entirely covering it
• Strengthen a damaged tooth
• Improve appearance, color, shape or alignment of teeth
• As part of a tooth implant procedure, placed on top of a titanium post or screw to provide the tooth-like shape and structure of the implant
• Replace a large filling
• Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
• Restore a fractured tooth
• Cover a tooth that has had a root canal

Most people prefer porcelain or ceramic crowns as they can be matched to the color of your natural teeth, but crowns are also fabricated of gold and other metal alloys.

Understanding the bridge
Your dentist may recommend a bridge if you’re missing one or more teeth for various reasons, including:
• Gaps left by missing teeth will eventually cause your surrounding teeth to move into the empty spaces and negatively affect your bite
• Imbalance caused by missing teeth can lead to gum disease and TMJ disorder

As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges, depending on the location of missing teeth, function, aesthetics and cost.

Crowns and bridges can last a lifetime
Crowns and bridges can loosen or come off, but if you stick to a good oral care routine, both procedures can keep your teeth functioning properly for many years to come. Get answers to your questions about crowns or bridges by calling today:
(304) 754-8803.

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