Crowns and Bridges
Dental crowns, also called caps, fit over worn or damaged teeth. They can also serve a cosmetic purpose, restoring a discolored tooth to its former hue. Your dentist may fit you with a temporary crown to protect a damaged tooth while the permanent crown is being made. Depending on the material used to make them, the wear they get and the care they receive, permanent crowns last about 5 to 15 years.
Who Needs Dental Crowns?
Crowns serve many purposes in restorative and cosmetic dentistry. They are an integral part of providing support to weakened or broken teeth. Untreated dental problems can lead to jaw pain, headaches and bite anomalies that could do further damage to otherwise healthy teeth. The following purposes illustrate some of the conditions for which your dentist might recommend crowns.
- Protecting soft or weakened teeth
- Supporting extensively filled teeth
- Anchoring bridgework
- Restoring the appearance of misshapen, chipped or discolored teeth
- Covering a dental implant
- Rebuilding a tooth after a root canal
- Creating a healthy bite
A dental bridge spans the gap where a missing tooth once was, filling the space with a synthetic tooth. Fitting a bridge requires reshaping the abutment teeth and capping them with crowns to hold the bridge securely.
Who Needs Dental Bridges?
Anyone who has missing or damaged teeth may be a candidate for dental bridges. Without something to occupy gaps, remaining teeth can shift position and alter your bite. These changes can lead to jaw pain, headaches and an increased risk of periodontal disease. Bridgework is more than a cosmetic procedure; it is essential to dental health. Bridges serve a number of purposes:
- Restoring a healthy bite to facilitate chewing
- Maintaining the contours of the face
- Improving your smile
- Reducing damage to remaining teeth from a misaligned bite
- Restoring self-confidence after an accident or injury