Teeth break, are extracted, they crack, chip and suffer other kinds of damage. When it happens restorative treatments are needed, and this includes the use of crowns and bridges. Some people use these two words interchangeably but in fact they are completely different things. A crown is a complete tooth covering and it is used to replace the ceramic layer of the tooth when it is lost or damaged. It is usually bonded onto a root which can be the original root of the tooth or a prosthetic one (if you have had a root canal). Once a crown is in place it will strengthen the tooth and prevent further damage from occurring. It will also improve the appearance of the tooth.
A bridge, on the other hand, is a prosthetic that is made up of two crowns and what is called a pontic. The crowns, or abutments, are on either side of the pontic – bridges are use to fill gaps or replace missing teeth. Both crowns and pontics will be designed to look just like your teeth so that you have a great, intact smile.
Who needs a crown?
Anyone who has a tooth that is damaged by decay or any other reason can use a crown. Remember, it is simply a tooth covering that is strongly affixed and lasts for a long time, so if your tooth has suffered any kind of damage or if it is weak it can be strengthened using a crown.
In the past most crowns were made of silver and occasionally gold. Today, you will find crowns that are made of materials that look very much like teeth but that are just as long lasting as silver or gold. In fact, many people prefer this newer material because it doesn’t show when one smiles.
Who can use a dental bridge?
Anyone who has a missing tooth or teeth can use a bridge. Today, bridges are common among the elderly – when they lose teeth instead of replacing them with dentures, which come with several disadvantages they opt for bridges instead which are permanent. Bridges can only be used when the teeth that are next to the gap are strong and healthy enough to support the pontic. Crowns are important because they help support surrounding teeth, keep the structure of the jaw line and also aid with chewing. They will also restore a smile.
How long do crowns and bridges last?
Both crowns and bridges are usually made of long lasting material and so long as they are placed by an experienced dentist they can last a lifetime. You will need to take proper care of your teeth – you should brush at least twice a day and also floss and use mouthwash as recommended. It is very important that you see your dentist at least twice a year – he will examine your crowns and bridges and make sure that they haven’t suffered any damage. In the case of minor damage the dentist is able to do repairs, but if there are extensive problems your crowns and bridges will have to be replaced.
How to care for crowns and bridges.
Immediately after your crowns and bridges are in you may feel some soreness and numbness – this will wear off before too long. If you experience any pain or swelling it is important that you go back to your dentist right away as it may be an indication that you are developing an infection. You should also brush carefully using a soft brush at least twice a day and floss to get rid of small food particles. Use a fluoride mouthwash for extra protection. Once the anesthetic wears off you may find that your bite feels uneven. Talk to your dentist about this so that he can make the necessary adjustments.
When it comes to long term care of crowns and bridges the one thing you ought to know is that they are susceptible to plaque. If they are not cared for properly they will eventually develop accumulations that are hard to get rid of. You should make sure that you always brush your teeth and floss. There are some special cleaning solutions that are designed to get into the small spaces in crowns and bridges – talk to your dentist about providing them to you on a regular basis.
Can crowns and bridges fall out?
As a matter of fact they sometimes do, especially if they are not placed properly. If this happens you shouldn’t waste any time – call your dentist right away and have them replace the fallen crown or bridge. If you are not sure that you are using the right dentist you should find a new one to avoid further complications.
Who is the best dentist for crowns and bridges?
The most important thing to look into when you are choosing a dentist for a crown or a bridge is experience. You should be looking for one who has done many in the past and who has a history of successful placements. Check online to see whether there have been any complaints against them. As for how much crowns and bridges will cost it all depends on the amount of work that you need done. if you are missing several teeth, or if you have more than a few damaged teeth you can expect that it will cost you more than if you are only having a few teeth corrected. The location of the dentist also matters – if you use one in one of the big cities you can be certain that it will cost you more as they tend to be more expensive.
If you would like to have crowns and/or bridges installed but are worried about cost you should seek a dentist in your area who can offer you a payment plan. Some of the best dentists understand that dental costs can be prohibitive, so they allow their patients to pay their bill on a monthly basis.