Crowns and Bridges
Dental bridges and crowns are essential components of restorative dentistry. They have the power to fix teeth that are less than their best and even fill in gaps in your smile, resulting in a mouth that is full of strong, attractive pearly whites. Here at your dentist in Ashland, we’re proud to be able to provide both of these treatments to our patients.
Dental crowns in Ashland are tooth-shaped covers that are custom-made to go over a damaged, weak, or unsightly tooth. They may be made of metal, but many of our patients prefer all-porcelain crowns because they blend in so seamlessly with the teeth around them. Here are some circumstances where a dental crown may be necessary:
- A tooth just underwent a root canal
- A tooth is broken or cracked
- A tooth has a large filling
- A tooth is severely worn down
- A tooth has an unattractive appearance due to staining, decay, or other circumstances
Traditional dental bridges are an excellent option for replacing one or two missing teeth. They consist of two crowns, which go over the abutment teeth (the teeth adjacent to the gap in your smile) and a pontic (artificial tooth) that is suspended between the two crowns. Bridges offer a number of advantages, including that they are sturdy, long-lasting, and natural-looking.
The Process for Installing a Crown or Bridge
After you and your dentist decide that a crown or bridge is a good idea for your smile, you can look forward to a fairly simple process:
- Your dentist prepares the teeth that will receive the crowns. This may involve filling them in or filing them down a bit so they fit well under the restoration.
- We take some impressions of your mouth. Those impressions go to a laboratory and serve as the basis for creating your crown or bridge.
- You wear temporary crowns until your custom ones are ready. When your crown or bridge comes back to our office, we invite you in for a second appointment, and we’ll attach your new restoration.
Caring for Your Crown or Bridge
A traditional crown or bridge may last for a decade or longer if it receives proper care. One of the keys to making your restoration last as long as possible is maintaining a good oral hygiene routine. Although crowns and bridges can’t get cavities, bacteria and food particles can still accumulate on them, leading to odors and discoloration. The bacteria may even sneak into the gums and cause periodontal problems. Fortunately, all you have to do to prevent such issues is brush twice a day and floss once a day (if you have a bridge, be sure to floss underneath the pontic).
Here are a few other tips for caring for your restoration:
- Porcelain crowns and bridges are quite strong, but they aren’t unbreakable. It’s important that you take care not to grind your teeth or bite on anything too hard, like ice or jawbreaker candy.
- Visit your dentist twice a year for checkups.
- Always wear a mouthguard when you’re playing sports.
If you believe you could benefit from a dental crown or bridge, please contact us today!
Dental Crown & Bridge FAQs
Is it the first time you are receiving a dental crown or bridge? Not sure if a crown or bridge is right for you? Premier Care Dental and its team members want to make sure you have complete and total confidence in your treatment before you arrive, which is why we’ve included a detailed section on the most common questions we hear regarding this treatment. Feel free to reach out to us directly if your question is not mentioned below and we’ll do our best to answer it!
How are temporary crowns different from permanent ones?
Temporary crowns are not meant to be used for more than a week or so. Once the permanent crown has been fabricated, it is imperative that you come back to the office to have the temporary crown replaced. After all, the temporary crown will not stay on your damaged tooth as effectively as a permanent crown will. In many cases, temporary crowns are also made from composite resin, which are not as durable as the porcelain material used in permanent crowns.
Is my damaged tooth safe from cavities when a crown is placed?
While the crown will prevent your damaged tooth from breaking apart further or getting infected, it is not safe from bacteria and plaque indefinitely. This is why we always ask our patients to practice routine brushing and flossing at home as well as visit our office for cleanings and exams. At-home care works to remove food debris and cavity-causing bacteria, which can find its way underneath your permanent crown if you skip oral care too often.
Does getting a dental crown hurt?
Prior to modifying the damaged tooth so a dental crown can fit on top, we make sure to apply local anesthetic to the tooth beforehand so that you feel no sensation during this step. Following the placement of your temporary crown, you may notice some aching sensations, but this is normal and can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers. Removing the temporary crown may also cause minor discomfort, but this is extremely brief.
Will my dental bridge look natural?
We make sure to utilize materials that mimic natural tooth enamel exactly when designing dental bridges. Keep in mind that the ceramics we provide are made into high-quality porcelain, which mimics tooth enamel in color even when light hits it. Enamel is technically translucent, and we make sure that this is the case for every restoration we provide patients. Furthermore, the bridge is designed to blend in with your existing teeth, so no one will notice which teeth are real and which ones are provided by our office.
How many teeth can a bridge replace?
Dental bridges are perfect for replacing as many as four missing teeth at a time. However, this can depend on what remaining teeth you have. Dental bridges rely on existing teeth to stay in place, so while we can replace two, three, four and even more additional teeth with a bridge, it may be better to consider a partial denture if you have many teeth to replace (particularly if you are missing teeth on both sides of your mouth.)