If you have a missing tooth, your dentist might suggest getting a dental bridge or crown. Today, our Burlington dentists share the differences between these two tooth replacement options and what you can expect.
What are dental bridges and crowns?
Your dentist could use crowns and bridges as dental restoration options for replacing missing teeth. They are natural appearing replacements that could be used for one lost tooth or a section of missing teeth.
Often, dental bridges and crowns are 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.
- They prevent the shifting of surrounding teeth, improving the long-term health of your mouth
- They make speaking and eating easier
- Dental crowns and bridges help support facial tissue
- They can renew your confidence when smiling with a more uniform appearance
The Placement of Crowns & Bridges
To start the process, the healthy teeth on both sides of the missing tooth will be prepared for the treatment. Your dentist will fill them to the appropriate sizes and shapes needed to allow for the placement of the crowns.
Placing a dental bridge is not surgical, and patients are awake during the procedure. However, if you suffer from dental anxiety, your dentist might be able to offer techniques to reduce your fear or may be able to suggest dental sedation as a way to help you relax. Ask your dentist to see if this is an option for you.
To make sure your bridge will be able to fit in your mouth, your dentist will take imprints and measurements of the neighbouring teeth. Sometimes, temporary crowns are made which have to be removed when the permanent one is ready to be placed.
Your dentist will numb the area receiving the crowns and bridge by using local anesthesia. Then the bridge is 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 Can Expect
Recovery time is quite short, with most people adapting to their new replacement teeth immediately.
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.