Dental crowns and bridges are two common dental procedures. Each is designed to help with the functionality of your bite. It’s normal to be unsure of what to expect. Here, we’ll explore the process of getting crowns or bridges. At Lovett Dental Conroe, we’re proud to provide caring, comprehensive dentistry that allows you to smile with confidence.
Crowns and Bridges: What You Need to Know
The good news is dental crowns and bridges can help you achieve a healthy, comfortable smile without the annoyance of dentures. Both dental bridges and crowns are permanent prosthetic devices that attach to your teeth, allowing you to chew, talk, and eat normally. Dental crowns and bridges can only be applied and removed by dental professionals. Once you have a crown or bridge installed, their care and maintenance are easy.
What’s the Difference Between Dental Crowns and Bridges?
Dental crowns are used to cover or “cap” a damaged tooth. If your tooth breaks while you’re eating or due to an oral injury, a cap can complete the now-missing part of the tooth, allowing you to use the tooth as normal. During the crown process, your dentist will recreate a part of your tooth, and you won’t be able to tell where the crown ends and where your natural tooth begins.
Dental crowns can also be used to help strengthen a weak tooth that hasn’t yet cracked, allowing you to eat without worrying as much about breaking the tooth. This preventative treatment can help prevent pain and more expensive dental work down the line.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, dental bridges may be recommended by your dentist. Bridges cover the space where a tooth is missing. A bridge is attached either to existing teeth or implanted teeth (the anchor teeth are called abutments). Dental crowns cover the abutments, and a replacement tooth is attached, creating the look and function of a natural, healthy smile.
What to Expect at Your Appointment
When you have a general dentistry appointment to repair your smile with a crown or a bridge, your dentist will examine the area in need of repair. They’ll likely talk with you about the type of material you can use to repair the area. Many people who need crowns or bridges choose to get a tooth-colored material to repair the area, creating the appearance of a cohesive smile.
When it’s time for the crown or bridge process to begin, your dentist will reduce the tooth’s size on which the crown or bridge will be applied. This allows plenty of space for the crown to fit neatly over your tooth, creating the appearance of a normal tooth. After the tooth size is reduced, your dentist will take an impression of the space. The impression is then taken to a lab, where your dentist will get to work on creating your permanent prosthetic.
While your permanent crown or bridge is being created in the lab, your dentist will create a temporary crown or bridge to cover the reduced teeth. When your permanent crown or bridge is ready, you’ll return to your dentist’s office, and they’ll remove the temporary crown or bridge, cementing the permanent crown or bridge in its place.
If you notice any discomfort or a strange feeling in your bite after your permanent crown or bridge is in place, be sure to alert your dentist so that they can make modifications.