When it comes to replacing missing teeth, the use of crowns and bridges is on the rise. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, 15 million people in the United States have crown or bridge replacements for their missing teeth. Rex Hoang, DMD, and the team at DC Dental Spa have decades of experience in restorative treatments like crowns and bridges. Schedule a consultation today by calling DC Dental Spa at their Washington, D.C. office or by using the online booking feature.
A dental crown is also called a cap. It's placed on top of a damaged tooth and sculpted to the shape of the original tooth, strengthening the tooth and restoring its appearance. A crown completely covers the area of the tooth that can be seen above the gum line and is sealed in place with a special cement that also prevents bacteria from leaking in.
A bridge, as its name indicates, bridges the gap left behind from a missing tooth or teeth and serve as replacements for these teeth. To hold them in place, bridges are cemented to implants or existing teeth.
There are a number of reasons Dr. Rex at DC Dental Spa may recommend a crown or bridge. Crowns can cover a strangely shaped or dark tooth or a dental implant. They can also protect and strengthen teeth that need strengthening or replacing as a result of severe decay, cracks, fractures, or fillings.
Dental bridges can replace missing teeth and keep existing teeth from shifting and rotating into the empty space. This is important because shifted teeth can cause a bad bite, which can lead to other problems.
Dental crowns and bridges also offer the additional cosmetic benefit of restoring your smile.
Dental crowns and bridges can be constructed from many materials, including:
The material used for your crown or bridge depends on your unique situation. For instance, stainless steel is usually the go-to material for temporary crowns. It's common for dentists to use prefabricated stainless steel crowns to cap children's baby teeth.
Metal crowns and bridges are tremendously sturdy and able to endure the impact of biting and chewing, but because of their color, they're usually reserved for use on back molars. On the other hand, porcelain fused to metal crowns and bridges is closer in appearance to your natural teeth. However, they do have some disadvantages, such as being visible as a dark line close to your gums and causing more wear-and-tear to the opposing teeth than other types of crowns.
Resin crowns and bridges are generally a less expensive option, but they’re also more prone to cracking, whereas ceramic crowns and bridges are the best option for people who have metal allergies.
Most of the time, a minimum of two visits is necessary for dental crown and/or bridge procedures. The first visit includes X-rays so that your dentist at DC Dental Spa can evaluate the condition of the tooth in question.
Next, your dentist uses a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and its surrounding tissue. The existing compromised tooth is filed down or built up so that the crown fits properly and securely. Once the tooth has been prepared, the dentist makes an impression of your teeth, which a lab uses to manufacture the crown or bridge.
Your dentist fabricates a temporary crown or bridge to safeguard your tooth until the permanent one is completed and in place. Also, gold, zirconia, and ceramic crowns can be three-day crowns, not one, depending on your unique situation.
To discuss your crown and bridge options, call the experienced team at DC Dental Spa or make an appointment online today.