Are you tired of covering your smile due to missing teeth? Would you like a permanent solution to your missing teeth rather than a removable appliance, such as dentures? An effective solution for missing teeth are crowns and bridges. Not only does this restorative treatment enhance the look and function of your teeth, but they also improve your ability to eat and talk, as well.
The Effects of Missing Teeth
Not only do missing teeth affect the look of your smile, but they can also cause further dental damage. Your teeth can shift out of place, which can negatively impact how your teeth come together when you bite. Improper bites can cause headaches, wear on the teeth and even tooth loss.
What’s more, without the support of teeth, your facial muscles will tend to sag and you may notice you have a sunken-in appearance. This can dramatically affect one’s self confidence.
Do I Need a Crown or Bridge?
If you have a missing or severely damaged tooth, a crown or bridge is an effective solution. In some cases, however, it is more difficult to tell whether you need such a procedure. Here are some other signs that might signal that you are in need of a restoration treatment:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Pain when brushing teeth or chewing
- Bleeding teeth or gums
- Swollen lips or gums
- Tooth pain
How Do Dental Crowns Work?
Crowns act like a cap and are placed over a damaged tooth or used in prosthetic treatments such as dental bridges. They are also used as replacement teeth when placed on top of an implant or in cosmetic treatments to improve the appearance, shape or alignment of the tooth. We may recommend a crown in the following instances:
- To replace a large filling where there is little natural tooth left
- To strengthen a weak tooth
- To save a fractured tooth
- Used to attach a dental bridge
- Improve the appearance of a tooth
A crown is a worthwhile treatment because it restores your tooth back to its original size, shape and color. You won’t even notice the difference between the crown and your natural teeth. It’s a versatile procedure that can also close spaces between teeth and correct minor instances of teeth out of position. Crowns can last years and even decades with proper at-home dental hygiene and regular dental visits.
How Do Dental Bridges Work?
Dental bridges are made up of two dental abutment crowns and a pontic, or false tooth, which are designed as one appliance. The durability and strength of a crown helps to support the bridge, creating a long lasting solution for a missing tooth.
A dental bridge is placed over a gap left by one or more missing teeth, anchoring to the teeth on either side of the gap to hold it in place. The benefits of a bridge include:
- Restores the appearance and function of your teeth
- Allows you to eat the foods you want
- Helps you to speak clearly
- Strong and durable – don’t have to remove, unlike dentures
Crown & Bridge
The process of a crown or bridge restoration begins with reducing the size of the tooth or teeth so that the crown or bridge can fit properly. At this time, the doctor will remove any decay, as well. Sometimes, the tooth is so badly decayed that it can’t support a crown by itself. In this case, the doctor will build the tooth back up with a material to support the crown or bridge.
Your dentist will then take an impression of your teeth, which will be used to fabricate the crown or bridge. This can take up to a couple weeks. In the meantime, you will be fitted with a temporary crown or bridge in order to protect your tooth.
Once the permanent crown and bridge are ready, they will be cemented into place. Local anaesthetic is used for patient comfort. The doctor will make sure that the crown and bridge fit comfortably and make any adjustments needed. A new crown or bridge might feel different for a short amount of time, but patients get used to the new restorations fairly quickly. If you notice that the crown or bridge is unusually uncomfortable, we will certainly make any adjustments or corrections.
At Reston Serenity Smiles, we can’t stress enough the importance of restoring missing teeth in order to keep your oral health in check. We are happy to assist patients in Reston, VA and the surrounding communities with dental restoration needs such as crowns and bridges. Please call our office to schedule a consultation.