We live in a time where a damaged tooth no longer means a damaged smile. A person you talk to everyday, like your best friend or your boss, could have multiple missing, stained, or cracked teeth. If you’re doubtful, remember that you might not even realize that your friend has a damaged tooth thanks to advances in dental technology, like dental crowns and bridges. These amazing devices can work together to hide dental imperfections and restore the functionality of a person’s teeth.
What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are prosthetic devices that cover a tooth, and they can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years. Dental crowns are made of different materials depending on each patient’s case. These materials include porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, full metal, ceramic, and resin.
You could need a dental crown for many different reasons:
- A dental crown can strengthen and protect a worn, cracked, or broken tooth. Dental crowns also cover implants and the anchor teeth that support a bridge.
- If you have an irregularly shaped tooth, a dental crown can improve your overall bite.
- Dental crowns are commonly used to restore teeth after root canals or large fillings.
- After years of drinking coffee and snacking on blueberries, you might need some help to brighten your smile. Dental crowns can cover stained teeth and improve the overall look of your smile.
Traditional Dental Crowns vs. CEREC Crowns
Traditional crowns require at least two office visits, while Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics (CEREC) crowns just require one office visit. If you are getting a traditional crown placed, your dentist will take impressions of your tooth and prepare it by removing decay and filling it down. You’ll receive a temporary crown that same day, and your impressions will be sent to a lab where the crown will be made. At your second office visit, your dentist will cement your permanent crown and make any necessary adjustments.
If your dentist offers CEREC crowns, you can avoid the wait time that comes with having a lab create your crown. CEREC crowns can be custom made by your dentist using 3D photography and computer-aided design software. After the design is created, a computer-controlled milling machine crafts a unique crown out of a single block of resin or ceramic. CEREC crowns are often stronger than other types of crowns because they are made out of one single piece of material.
What Are Dental Bridges?
Just like crowns, bridges are fixed prosthetic devices. However, bridges replace missing teeth, while dental crowns simply cover teeth. Bridges work by connecting an artificial tooth to two adjacent teeth, which are referred to as anchor teeth. Dentists place crowns on the anchor teeth for protection. While bridges are effective in replacing a missing tooth, preparation for insertion can damage the anchor teeth. If a patient has adequate bone mass, a dental implant is the preferred option. An implant is a cylinder that is inserted below the gum line and topped off with a dental crown. Since an implant is a single unit, it doesn’t harm the adjacent teeth.
Caring for Dental Crowns and Bridges
With good oral hygiene, dental crowns and bridges can last a long time. Make sure to brush twice a day, floss, and use mouthwash to extend the life of your dental work. Do not chew on hard foods or objects like ice. While crowns and bridges are made to last, they can come loose or be damaged. If this happens, contact your dentist right away.
Dental crowns and bridges can help you smile with confidence if you have a damaged or missing tooth. If you need a dental crown, bridge, or implant, and you live near Springfield, Missouri, contact Duff Family Dental to schedule an appointment. We offer a full line of general, cosmetic, pediatric, and restorative dentistry services. Call us at 417-501-8601 or contact us online today!