Crowns and Bridges
If you are dealing with damaged or missing teeth, you might feel self-conscious about showing your smile or interacting with other people. But there is more to it than just pure aesthetics because your dental health may be in jeopardy.
If you leave a damaged tooth unrepaired, it might end up becoming a missing tooth. If you don't address a missing tooth, it might put your surrounding healthy teeth at risk. The good news is a dental crown or bridge can restore your smile—and protect your oral health.
Houston dentist Dr. Girish Bharwani is happy to help you determine whether a dental crown or bridge is the right choice for repairing your missing or damaged teeth. Here are some things to consider when choosing the best treatment for your smile.
- What is a dental crown?
- Why do I need a crown instead of a filling?
- What types of dental crowns are recommended?
- What is the procedure for completing a dental crown?
- When are dental crowns recommended?
- What is a dental bridge?
- Why is it esential to replace a missing tooth?
- What are the benefits of choosing a dental bridge?
- How do I care for my dental crown or bridge?
What is a dental crown?
Instead of just restoring a portion of your tooth, a dental crown fits like a cap over your remaining tooth structure to repair your entire tooth. A dental crown provides strength, durability, and all the function that you had before your tooth was damaged while also restoring your beautiful smile.
Why do I need a crown instead of a filling?
A filling is designed to repair only a small portion of your tooth that has been damaged by decay, while a crown replaces your entire tooth and is more ideal when a tooth has been severely decayed, damaged, traumatized, or infected beyond what a filling is capable of repairing. A crown protects your remaining natural tooth structure and root, which helps you maintain your natural smile and ensures that you can chew and eat with ease.
What types of dental crowns are recommended?
Ceramic porcelain crowns are a durable and beautiful option because they are customized to blend seamlessly with your smile. Porcelain looks like a natural tooth, even reflecting light the way your own teeth do.
Gold is the best and strongest material for a dental crown, and it's most often recommended for back molars since they take the brunt of your chewing force. As the workhorses in your mouth, gold is a sensible option for your molars; and since these teeth are in the back of your mouth, and not readily visible when you smile, your gold crown won't be noticeable.
What is the procedure for completing a dental crown?
We can typically complete a dental crown in two visits with your dentist in Houston. During the first visit, Dr. Bharwani will prepare your tooth for your new crown and make you a temporary version you can wear while a top dental technician creates your final restoration at a dental lab.
Fabricating your dental crown typically takes two to three weeks. When your dental crown is completed, you'll return to GB Dental to have it placed permanently. During your second visit, Dr. Bharwani will make any adjustments to your crown at that time to ensure that your bite functions correctly and then you're off to enjoy your new smile!
When are dental crowns recommended?
A tooth that is cracked or has developed deep decay might benefit from a dental crown. When a damaged tooth is too far gone for a filling, a crown is often appropriate. The restoration will completely cover the tooth structure and strengthen and protect it from further damage.
Dr. Bharwani typically recommends a dental crown after a root canal procedure. When your Houston dentist removes the infected pulp of the tooth, the tooth structure that is left becomes brittle and weak. A dental crown strengthens it, giving you back the form and function of your tooth so you can chew properly again.
Dental crowns can also be used cosmetically in situations where teeth are oddly shaped or discolored. They are used as anchors to hold a dental bridge in place, and as the restoration for a single tooth replacement for a dental implant.
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a tooth replacement option that fills in the space left in your mouth by a missing tooth using dental crowns to attach to natural teeth on either side of the gap with prosthetic teeth attached in the middle. A bridge uses porcelain crowns that are made to match your natural teeth and will blend in seamlessly. It will also protect your teeth from shifting and enable you to speak and chew normally.
Why is it essential to replace a missing tooth?
When teeth are missing, and you don't replace them, this affects your smile as well as your self-confidence; people might even make unfair judgments about you. It might also be more challenging to speak or chew properly, which can feel embarrassing in certain situations.
Did you know you are also putting yourself at risk for even more tooth loss if you don't replace a missing tooth?
Some people think that one missing tooth isn’t a big deal—especially if it is in the back of the mouth where most people won't even notice it. But leaving a gap in your teeth will cause your other teeth to drift over to fill in the empty space. Over time, this can contribute to a multitude of problems, including bite issues, excessively worn teeth, gum disease, and TMJ issues.
What are the benefits of choosing a dental bridge?
A dental bridge in Houston is capable of replacing one or multiple adjacent missing teeth, and it's also typically a more affordable option for restoring your smile than dental implants. A dental bridge is made of porcelain, which is a durable and beautiful addition to your smile that you'll be able to rely on for many years.
Dental implants can also be used to anchor a bridge, which will offer protection from bone loss and better longevity for your restoration.
How do I care for my dental crown or bridge?
It’s a good idea to be gentle with your restoration in the first few days after receiving it. But after your dentist cements it into place, you can care for restorations much like you would your natural teeth.
Be sure to brush and floss diligently as both dental crowns and bridges that are not cared for can cause decay near the gum line. For a dental bridge, the key to longevity is keeping your anchor crowns clean and free of decay. See your Houston dentist twice a year for examinations and cleanings to ensure your crown or bridge is functioning as it should.
Dr. Bharwani is pleased to provide comprehensive dentistry that is predictable and long-lasting and we look forward to helping you maintain your healthy and beautiful smile.
Call GB Dental today to find out more about crowns and bridges or to schedule your regular examination and cleaning!