What are Dental Crowns and Bridges?
A dental crown is a cap for your tooth. A dental bridge is two or more crowns in one piece that bridge, or span; a gap from a lost tooth. Most of the time, we use porcelain to make the crowns and bridges right here in our office.
Is a Dental Crown Procedure Painful?
No, it usually is not painful at all. In fact, tooth pain or sensitivity and trouble chewing may be relieved after a dental crown procedure.
We begin with local anesthetic if you need it and then we prepare the tooth to receive a crown. This involves removing some of the tooth to shape it in a way that accepts the crown securely. During this part of the procedure, you’ll feel some minor vibration, but it doesn’t hurt.
Remember, any time you need to take a break or if for some reason you feel pain, just raise your hand and we’ll stop to help you. Your comfort is very important to us.
Once the tooth is prepared to receive the crown, we use a neat little tool that maps the prepared tooth and the surrounding area including the adjacent teeth and gums. Have you ever seen images where scientists use technology to map the depths of the ocean? Well, the image on the screen will remind you of that—and it will include highly precise dimensions to build a custom dental crown.
Once again, there’s no pain and the tool isn’t very big. You won’t be uncomfortable.
After the imaging is done, the information is sent to our milling machine and it turns a block of dental porcelain into your new crown. It’s done right here in our office so you can have your crown done in one visit.
The next step is to test fit it on your tooth, maybe make a few minor adjustments and permanently cement the crown onto your tooth. Then, it’s just a matter of polishing and final details.
Crowns are also used as the finishing touch for dental implants, in cases where you’ve had a tooth pulled or if you’ve lost a tooth and a new titanium implant has been completed.
When the crown is done, you’ll forget that it’s not a real tooth. It looks, feels, and functions just like a natural tooth.
Why Would I Need a Dental Crown?
Each case is different, and we like to offer you every option available for you to decide what’s best. Here’s a few reasons why you need a dental crown:
- Pain Relief Does it hurt when you bite down? If so, you may have a cracked tooth. Don’t delay in a situation where it hurts to chew. The dental crown procedure is not painful and will replace the cracked portion of the tooth before it gets worse.
- Protection If you have a tooth that was damaged in the past, even if it doesn’t hurt, you should have us look at it. A dental crown can be used to help preserve and protect your natural tooth while it’s still healthy.
- Root Canals The final part of a root canal procedure; or endodontic treatment, may be to apply a crown to protect your repaired tooth. (by the way-the legendary pain of root canals is a thing of the past.)
- Dental Implants We’ll cap your new titanium tooth root with a dental crown. You’ll have a brand new tooth that everyone will think is a natural tooth.
- Support Dental crowns can be used to help support bridges and other dental devices.
What’s the Difference between a Dental Crown and a Dental Bridge?
The two are very similar, except a dental bridge combines two crowns that go on the prepared teeth or implants. Often a bridge will also fill a gap where more teeth are missing. Otherwise, the procedure is very much the same as a single crown. You’ll need to take care of the empty space below the bridge; it’s like flossing, just underneath as well as on the sides.
Why Would I Need a Dental Bridge?
If you’ve lost one or more teeth, a dental bridge is a great way to restore your smile and improve the function of your mouth. Some benefits of a dental bridge include:
- Preservation of Natural Teeth When a tooth is lost, the surrounding teeth may migrate or weaken because of the open space. A dental bridge will prevent this from happening so that you keep the rest of your natural teeth longer. A lost tooth also means a heavier burden is placed on surrounding teeth. A dental bridge will help to spread the impact of chewing across a bigger and more natural area. This can help to prevent uneven wearing of teeth and possibly tooth damage.
- Appearance Dental bridges look, feel and function like natural teeth. They’re a well proven way to fill an unpleasant gap between teeth and give you back a beautiful smile. Chances are that you see people with bridges every day and you don’t even know it.
- Functionality When we have weak or missing teeth, we tend to get used to avoiding favorite foods or eating in a way that isn’t natural. A dental bridge functions just like a natural tooth so you can enjoy eating again.
At White Family Dental, we’ll always give you the options that are personally appropriate for you and then let you decide what’s best.
Dental crowns and bridges are wonderful ways to improve your everyday life by filling the gaps that make you hesitate to smile or alter your eating. Don’t you think it’s time to enjoy your new teeth?