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What You Need to Know About Crowns and Bridges

What You Need to Know About Crowns and Bridges

Did you know that, by the age of 34, the average American adult has lost five teeth? By the age of 49, that number increased to seven teeth, and by age 64, that number jumped to nine. If you’re facing tooth decay and loss, crowns and bridges can be one of the best ways to both replace missing teeth and protect the ones you have left.

But what are dental crowns and bridges, and what can you expect when you get them? Read on to learn more about these dental devices and discover what you can expect at the best dentist in Monument, Colorado.

What Are Crowns?

Dental crowns are an alternative to getting a full extraction and dental implant. A crown covers one tooth that has been shaved down to remove damaged material on the tooth. To work with a crown, a tooth has to still have a healthy, intact root to anchor the crown onto.

In some cases, dental crowns can also work with implants, metal structures that get set into your jawbone. Instead of using your tooth’s natural root, a dentist will place a metal post in your jaw with a small section protruding above your gum line. The crown gets attached to this post instead of to the remaining structure of your tooth.

What Are Bridges? 

Tooth bridges are similar to crowns in that they get anchored onto existing healthy teeth. The difference is that, instead of covering just one tooth, bridges typically span across two or three teeth at least. Typically with a bridge, the middle tooth gets completely extracted, and the two teeth on either side are used to support the false middle tooth. 

When they’re installing a bridge, your dentist will grind down the healthy teeth on either side of an extracted tooth to create the posts needed for installing the bridge. The bridge will sit on these two posts with an attached fake tooth in the middle that isn’t rooted into anything. In some cases, you can also get a bridge that uses only two teeth (one on one side of the extracted tooth), but this is more unusual. 

Reasons to Get Crowns and Bridges

There are several reasons you may need or decide to get a dental crown or bridge. First and foremost, bridges and crowns are a technique to help fight tooth decay and loss. In the case of a crown, in particular, you can save the tooth before decay reaches the tooth and protect it with the addition of a synthetic crown. 

You may also need to get a crown put on your tooth after a root canal to seal and protect the remaining tooth material. And in some cases, you may elect to have bridges put in to replace unsightly teeth. If your teeth are permanently discolored, chipped, cracked, or misshapen, a bridge can give you the smile you want.

What to Expect with a Crown

Knowing what to expect before you get a bridge or crown put in can help to make the procedure less scary for you. The first thing your dentist will do in the case of either procedure is to give you a local anesthetic. You shouldn’t feel any pain, and if you do, let your dentist know immediately so they can give you some more meds. 

If you have decayed material on or in your tooth, your dentist will start by removing it to leave healthy, clean tooth material behind. Your dentist will take impressions of your tooth and give you a temporary crown while they make the permanent crown. A few weeks later, you’ll have another appointment during which your dentist will cement your new crown in place to bond it to your tooth.

What to Expect with a Bridge 

As with dental crowns, when you get a dental bridge, your dentist will begin by giving you a local anesthetic and removing any decayed tooth material. From there, they’ll take impressions of your teeth to make your permanent bridge. The primary difference during this step in the process is that they’ll be taking impressions of multiple teeth.

At your follow-up appointment, your dentist will use a special dental cement to bond the permanent bridge to your teeth. In some cases, they may need to make slight modifications to ensure your bridge looks and feels perfect. Once the adjustments are done, you’ll be free to go with your new dental bridge!

Caring for Crowns and Bridges

If you have a permanent crown, caring for it will be much like caring for your other teeth. You’ll need to brush it carefully twice a day and floss around it to keep food particles from decaying the remainder of your tooth. You’ll also need to check in with your dentist a couple of times a year to get your teeth cleaned, and your crown checked.

If you have a permanent bridge, it may require a little more TLC. In particular, you’ll need to floss underneath your bridge since the middle tooth won’t be rooted into your gum, and food can get stuck under it. You can get special flossers designed to help you slide the floss under your bridge to remove any particles trapped there. 

Find the Best Dentist in Monument, Colorado

Dental crowns and bridges can be an important measure for fighting tooth decay and keeping a gorgeous smile. Crowns only cover one tooth, while bridges cover at least two or three teeth. Getting these put in is a painless process, and you’ll only have to do a little extra TLC to care for them once they’re in. 

If you’d like to find the best dentist in Monument, Colorado, to install your crowns and bridges, check out the rest of our site at Advanced Dental & Implant Center. We provide first-class dentistry in a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Request an appointment with us today and take advantage of our new patient special!

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Double the Impact, Enjoy 20% Off Burst Products

When you donate to this cause, we’ll match your contribution. Plus, for every toy you give, enjoy an exclusive 20% discount on any Burst product you love. Join us in spreading joy and caring for your smile today.

*Non-insured patients only. Only valid for patients in the absence of periodontal (gum) disease. (D0150, D0210, D1110). These offers cannot be combined with other promotions and are redeemable in the absence of insurance coverage.