Injury, disease and decay are all significant factors that may eventually lead to tooth loss. However, with proper treatment, such as by getting a dental crown or bridge, your smile won’t suffer as much. In fact, your smile may even look better than before as a result.
What Are Dental Crowns and Bridges?
Bridges and crowns are considered as ‘fixed’ dental prosthetic devices or appliances. Dental professionals, preferably prosthodontists, place them by cementing them right onto the affected tooth, or sometimes, to an implant.
Crowns are usually used to cover and strengthen a severely damaged tooth or ‘cap’ an implant. Meanwhile, bridges cover the gaps where a tooth or two once stood by cementing them to the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth.
Getting a bridge or a crown usually requires only two visits, but sometimes more may be necessary. During the first visit, the dentist simply prepares your teeth and gums for the bridge or crown and then takes an impression of the affected teeth or tooth. Then, the impression is sent to a dental laboratory where the crown or bridge is made by a dental technician.
After a few days or weeks, you’ll then be called in for the second appointment where the dentist will now place the crown or bridge on your teeth.
Benefits of Crowns and Bridges
Apart from strengthening damaged teeth and replacing missing ones, bridges and crowns can also help improve the appearance of teeth, by fixing its shape, alignment and bite.
For example, both bridges and crowns can help prevent the gaps left by missing teeth from causing the remaining teeth to shift and causing a bad bite.
How Long Do They Last?
Restorative work such as dental crowns and bridges can last for as long as 15 years with proper care. If you practice proper oral hygiene at home and visit the dentist regularly, your dental crown or bridge should last well into your twilight years.
In case the crown or bridge fails, like the crown falls out, make sure that you place it in a secure, zip-top plastic bag and schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. In such cases, the crown or bridge may have to be replaced with a new, although the old crown can still be placed and used temporarily until the new one is available.
Note: NEVER EVER try to put a dental crown or bridge back in place yourself.
How To Take Proper Care Of Them
Taking care of dental bridges and crowns is no different from taking care of your natural teeth. Although, you may want to cut back on chewing on hard foods, such as ice and biting your nails, as both can cause damage to the crown or bridge. Also, for added protection for your dental crown and/or bridge, be sure to ask your dentist for a night guard if you grind your teeth at night when you’re asleep.
Brushing twice a day, visiting your dentist regularly and following a proper oral hygiene will ensure that your crown or bridge will last you for a very long time – even until your death!
If you’re considering restoring your smile with the help of a dental crown and bridge, contact Dr. David Lunt, DDS at 818-885-7230 or visit www.davidluntdds.com for additional information regarding crowns and brides.