As time goes by, your teeth can become weaker and begin to crack or chip. That affects not only the appearance of your smile but can also make it more difficult to chew. It leaves other teeth vulnerable to damage and decay.
Crowns and most bridges, just like dentures, are prosthetic devices. However, unlike removable dentures, they are fixed and cemented onto implants or existing teeth. They should only be removed by a dentist.
Crowns are restorations that are used to restore broken, chipped, decayed, worn-down or misshapen teeth. Bridges, on the other hand, are restorations that are used to replace missing teeth in instances where there are remaining teeth behind and in front of the missing tooth.
When are dental crowns installed?
Crowns are used to cover, or cap, damaged teeth (for example when the tooth enamel is very weak). They protect and strengthen the existing tooth, while restoring its correct shape and size. They improve the alignment and appearance of the tooth as well. Crowns can also be mounted on top of implants. Most crowns are porcelain or ceramic, which means they can be customized to match your natural teeth color.
A crown may be recommended to:
- Replace a dental filling when most of the tooth is missing
- Protect a weakened tooth
- Restore a broken tooth
- Attach a bridge
- Cover an implant, a misshapen tooth or a tooth that has had a root canal treatment
When are dental bridges installed?
Bridges are recommended when patients are missing one or more teeth. Gaps that form after losing teeth greatly affect the oral health causing gum disease, jaw disorders, teeth rotation and a bad bite. They are also a cause of concern in terms of aesthetics of your smile. It is therefore important to replace missing teeth. Bridges are one way to do this.
Dental bridges fill spaces left by absent teeth. They are cemented to the natural teeth or implants that are around the gap. Dental crowns are put on those anchor teeth, and the bridge spans the gap between them.
Just like with crowns and dental fillings, you also have a choice of materials for bridges. Your dentist can offer suggestions and explain your options, taking various factors, such as function, cost, location of the missing tooth and aesthetics, into consideration. To match your natural teeth color and shape, consider installing a porcelain or ceramic bridge, since both materials can be customized.
Benefits of dental crowns and bridges
Both dental crowns and bridges have many advantages. Below we list some of them.
- Protect severely damaged and weakened teeth, while restoring the tooth structure and
- Are aesthetically pleasing, improving your smile. Crowns can restore the natural shape
and color of your tooth.
- Last a long time. They are prepared from strong and durable materials that last at least 15
- Help restore the functionality of your teeth. Bridges can improve chewing, eating and even clarity of speech lost due to a missing tooth.
- Offer support to “anchor” teeth by equally distributing the chewing force.
- Improve your oral health and smile.
- Are durable and last longer than removable dentures.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Crowns & Bridges Cincinnati, Ohio [OH]
How does the process of installing a bridge or a crown look like?
The first step is to reduce the size of your tooth to ensure a proper fit of the crown or bridge. After that, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth that will serve as a mold for the restorations. To match the color of your teeth, the dentist may also determine the shade of the crown or bridge, if it is being made from porcelain.
Crowns and bridges are made in dental labs. Before they are ready to be used, the dentist places a temporary crown or bridge over your teeth. Once the permanent restoration arrives, the temporary one is removed, and the new one is cemented.
What types of dental bridges are there?
Traditional, cantilever, Maryland and implant-supported are the four main types of bridges. Traditional bridge is made up of a false tooth (or teeth) that is held in place by crowns installed over the abutment (or anchor) teeth. It is the most common dental bridge used, especially if you have natural teeth on both sides of the gap.
Cantilever bridge is similar to the traditional one, but the false tooth (or pontic) in this bridge is held in place by a crown cemented only to one anchor (abutment) tooth. To install a Maryland bridge, you also need two abutment teeth, one on each side of the gap created by the missing tooth. The difference between the two is that the Maryland bridge does not require crowns on anchor teeth. It uses a metal or porcelain framework that is bonded to the back of the abutment teeth.
Implant-supported bridges, just like the name implies, use dental implants instead of frameworksor crowns. An implant is placed for every missing tooth. These implants, then, hold the bridge in place. This is probably the strongest and most stable system. However, it requires two surgeries, and may take even a few months to be completed.
How much does an installation of a crown or bridge cost?
The cost depends on many factors, such as the number of teeth involved in the treatment, region you live in and your insurance coverage. Prices of crowns range between $1000 – $2400, and most bridges – $2000 – $5000.
Are crowns and bridge long-lasting?
The short answer is yes. With proper care, many crowns and bridges can last a lifetime.
However, they do can become loose or fall out. In those instances, it is best to contact your dentist. They will examine your teeth and gums to make sure there is no underlying cause for why the crown or bridge became loose. They can also help you affix the restorations back in place.