Dental crowns and bridges are more common than you might think. In fact, an astounding 15 million Americans have crowns to replace missing teeth, reports the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Vaibhav Bajaj, DMD is a highly trained professional that can explain your crown and bridge options. Call or make an appointment online if you suspect you may need a repair or a new crown or bridge. Charlotte Dental Esthetics is conveniently located near you in Charlotte, North Carolina.
A crown is a piece of metal, plastic, ceramic, or porcelain that covers a damaged tooth. It's designed in the shape of the original tooth and can strengthen the tooth and restore its appearance. The crown acts as a protective covering, as it's fitted over the original tooth so that the visible portion of the tooth is encased. It's sealed in place with dental cement.
A bridge is a prosthetic that replaces a missing tooth by bridging the gap between it and existing teeth. To hold it in place, Dr. Bajaj can cement a bridge to existing teeth or to dental implants.
Dr. Bajaj and his team at Charlotte Dental Esthetics may suggest a crown or bridge for many reasons. First, a crown can cover a dental implant or a discolored or oddly-shaped tooth. It can also provide support for a tooth. Crowns can strengthen teeth that are at risk of breaking or that have weakened as a result of large fillings.
Second, a bridge, in addition to replacing missing teeth, can keep existing teeth from twisting and shifting. Shifted teeth can not only be unattractive, but they can also cause a bad bite.
Dental crowns and bridges can be constructed from many materials, including:
The choice of material depends on multiple factors. For example, stainless steel is usually the preferred material for temporary crowns. Stainless steel crowns are often prefabricated and are a frequent choice for children who need crowns on baby teeth.
Metal crowns and bridges are durable and able to withstand the force of chewing and eating, but because of their noticeable color, they’re usually reserved for use in the back of the mouth.
Porcelain fused to metal crowns and bridges are more aesthetically pleasing than stainless steel crowns and bridges, but they aren't perfect. For example, the metal portion of a stainless steel crown might show as a dark line close to the gums. The opposing teeth may also experience more wear than they would with another type of crown or bridge.
All-resin crowns and bridges are more affordable, which makes them an appealing choice for many patients, but they're also more prone to fractures. All-ceramic crowns and bridges are the best choice for men and women with metal allergies.
Dental crown or bridge procedures typically involve two visits to the dentist, at a minimum. The first visit will include X-rays so that Dr. Bajaj and his team can determine the health of the tooth that needs a crown or bridge.
Next, Dr. Bajaj will administer anesthesia to numb the tooth and surrounding tissues. If you’re getting a crown, he then builds up or files down the existing tooth so that the crown will fit snugly. Next, Dr. Bajaj will take an impression of your teeth. The impression will go to the dental lab and be used to create a custom crown or bridge. Dr. Bajaj will create a temporary one to protect your tooth until the permanent crown or bridge can be placed.
To learn more about dental crowns and bridges, call Charlotte Dental Esthetics or make an appointment online.