Your dentist may recommend dental crowns or bridges if you've lost a tooth. Here, our dentists in Grande Prairie help to explain the difference and what you can expect from your tooth replacement.
What are dental crowns and dental bridges?
Your dentist can replace missing teeth with dental restorations such as crowns and bridges. These natural-looking replacements can be used for a single missing tooth or a section of teeth.
Dental crowns and bridges are often used together. Generally, a bridge consists of a tooth replacement in the middle and two crowns at each 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 is used to cap the surface of a tooth, restoring its strength and appearance. It covers discoloured or misshapen teeth, protects weak teeth, restores broken teeth and secures dental bridges. Crowns can be made from porcelain and metal, resin, stainless steel a metal such as gold or ceramic.
These dental appliances incorporate artificial teeth and crowns. They help to stabilize surrounding teeth, ensuring they don't shift out of place to fill the gap of missing teeth.
Reasons to Choose Dental Crowns or Bridges
- Dental crowns and bridges help support facial tissue
- They make speaking and eating easier
- They prevent the shifting of surrounding teeth, improving the long-term health of your mouth
- They can renew your confidence when smiling with a more uniform appearance
Placing Crowns & Bridges
Your dentist will prepare healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth. This involves filing them to the shapes and sizes required to allow for the crowns to be placed.
Placing a dental bridge is not surgical, and patients are awake during the procedure. However, if you suffer from dental anxiety, your dentist may offer techniques to reduce your fear or suggest dental sedation as a way to help you relax. Speak to your dentist to see if this is a solution for you.
To ensure your bridge will fit your mouth, your dentist will take measurements and imprints of the surrounding teeth. In some cases, temporary crowns may be made which would need to be removed when the permanent one is being placed.
Your dentist will numb the area receiving the crowns and bridge by using local anesthesia. The bridge will then be 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 to 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.