Crowns & Bridges
What Are Crowns & Bridges?
Dental crowns and bridges are important dental care procedures. When you have damaged or missing teeth, crowns and bridges can help restore your smile.
Dental crowns are permanent caps for damaged teeth. When a tooth is damaged, a dentist applies a crown on top of injured teeth to repair their shape, cover any damage, and restore the tooth back to its normal function.
Dental bridges can help replace missing teeth. When one or more teeth are missing, dental bridges cover the gap that missing teeth leave behind.
Why Do I Need a Crown or Bridge?
When you’ve injured a tooth, your dentist may recommend a dental crown to improve that tooth’s overall functioning, appearance and shape. Dental crowns serve a variety of functions, including replacing a filling, covering a dental implant, strengthening or repairing a fractured tooth, protecting a root canal, or attaching a dental bridge.
When you’ve lost one or more teeth, your dentist may recommend a bridge. The gaps that missing teeth leave behind can result in a number of jaw, bite, and oral health problems including gum disease, unnecessary tooth movement, or even TMJ. To prevent those oral health problems, your dentist will cement a bridge to the teeth, implants, or dental crowns that surround the missing teeth, allowing the bridge to stretch over the empty space.
What Should I Expect at my Crown & Bridge Appointment?
Dental crowns and bridges often take more than one dental appointment. The process for each is similar and can impact a single tooth (for example, a crown may cap only one damaged tooth) or multiple teeth (for example, a bridge is placed between two teeth).
At your first appointment, your dentist will numb the affected teeth. Then the dentist will prepare your teeth by shaping them and removing any present tooth decay. For a dental crown, the dentist will only prepare the tooth to be capped. For a dental bridge, the dentist will prepare the teeth surrounding the gap, known as abutment teeth.
Next, your dentist will take an impression of the affected tooth or teeth in order to create a plaster cast for your crown and/or bridge.
Lastly, your dentist will place a temporary crown and/or bridge over your teeth that will stay in place until your final appointment.
In between your appointments, your dentist will use your tooth impression to create the permanent crown and/or bridge.
At your second appointment, your dentist will numb the affected teeth, remove the temporary crown and/or bridge, evaluate the look and fit of the final, permanent structures and cement them.
How Long Do Crowns & Bridges Last?
Both crowns and bridges are meant to be permanent oral fixtures, also known as fixed prosthetic devices. Unlike dental structures like dentures, crowns and bridges are not removed for cleaning. Your dentist will cement your crown and/or bridge to your teeth, and only your dentist can remove them.
Occasionally a crown or bridge can become lose, break, or fall out. Maintaining strong and healthy oral hygiene is one way you can partner with your dentist to make sure your crown or bridge lasts as long as possible.
How Much Do Crowns & Bridges Cost?
A crown or bridge procedure is an investment in your oral health. Using state-of-the-art techniques and technologies, including computerized operatories, digital radiography, and flat-screen monitors, Huntley Dental Associates provides superior oral treatment in a comfortable environment.
Please contact Huntley Dental Associates to discuss insurance options and pricing details, or with any additional questions about dental crowns and bridges.