Natural teeth are strong, although there are common reasons why they may get damaged. For instance, you could lose a tooth or damage it because of impact or severe cavities. Some of the best treatments for these concerns include using dental fillings or installing dental crowns, implants, bridges, specialty dentures, or full dentures. The ideal treatment will depend on the specific nature of your concern. If you have missing or damaged teeth, we invite you to contact La Puente Advanced Dentistry. We have a team dedicated to restorative dentistry and can provide dental crowns and bridges, among other effective treatments.
The failure to seek treatment for a missing tooth can cause numerous grave concerns. For instance, a gap can cause dental malocclusion, affect your jaw function and result in chewing or speech problems. Apart from issues arising from a poor bite, a missing tooth can also increase the risk of losing more teeth. On the other hand, seeking treatment for a damaged tooth helps maintain your natural dental for longer.
Dental Crowns Defined
Dental crowns, also known as dental caps, are a cover used to encase an entire tooth’s surface. This restores its strength by ensuring it assumes its natural shape and size. Dental crowns protect the tooth’s structure in cases where the use of dental fillings may be inadequate. They often come in handy when restoring the form of a broken tooth or the aesthetics of discolored teeth. Moreover, your dentist may recommend using dental crowns to protect weak teeth from the risk of breaking.
Dental Bridges Defined
Dental bridges are false teeth, also known as pontics. They are commonly made from porcelain, a material that ensures the fake teeth resemble your natural ones. However, several options are available, and you can request a dental bridge made from other materials, including gold.
If you have a missing tooth or several missing teeth in a row, your dentist can use a dental bridge to close or bridge the gap. In this case, the expert will need an abutment tooth on either side of the gap. Patients who don’t have abutment teeth may have to schedule dental implants before having a bridge installed.
Do I Need Dental Crowns or Bridges?
Dental crowns and bridges are alike in the sense that they are both fixed prosthetic devices. Both options involve cementing the fake tooth onto your natural teeth or installed implants. The main difference between the two is that the latter is solely used to restore missing teeth. On the other hand, crowns help to restore the integrity of a damaged natural tooth.
Here are some of the reasons you may want to consider having a dental crown or bridge installed:
- Missing tooth or teeth
- Fractured or broken teeth
- Stained, discolored, or chipped teeth
- Severe dental cavities
- Fractured fillings
- Cosmetic enhancement following root canal
The Process of Making and Installing Dental Crowns
Dental crowns help to restore the shape, size, and structural integrity of a damaged or decayed natural tooth. Before treatment begins, your dentist will need to make an impression of your dental. The model helps to establish the ideal dimensions of the new tooth. It may take a week or two to have your dental image sent to a lab where the customized fake tooth will be produced.
At the lab, the specialist will ensure the mold of the new tooth fits your gap perfectly. They may also polish and tint the mold to ensure it matches your surrounding teeth. If you want a dental crown made from another material, the experts will add a thin layer of your chosen material onto the prefabricated porcelain or ceramic mold.
Your dentist will need to prepare your damaged tooth for the installation of a dental crown. The preparation process may involve root canal therapy if you have an advanced cavity. After this, the dentist will remove a portion of the enamel, creating room for the dental cap.
Once the dental crown is ready, your dentist will use it to encase the prepared tooth. A strong dental adhesive helps to keep the cap in place. Often, the dentist will need to reshape and polish the crown once more to ensure it meets the expected dental alignment and aesthetics.
The Process of Making and Installing Dental Bridges
The process of making dental bridges is not so different from that of making dental crowns. Your dentist will take an impression of your dental, send it to the lab, and receive an exact mold of the bridge within a few weeks. Again, the bridge must be custom-fitted for your specific needs.
As the bridge is prepared in the lab, your dentist will prepare the site for installation. This may involve installing implants or re-contouring the abutment teeth. Once the bridge is ready, the specialist will use it to encase the abutment on either side of the gab. The dental adhesive will help ensure the new teeth remain in place. Again, minor reshaping and polishing may be necessary to ensure the bridge is well aligned for a correct bite and visually appealing smile.
Understanding How Crowns Work
Dental crowns come in handy when restoring the shape, structural integrity, or visual appeal of cracked, weak, or severely stained teeth. When a crown is installed, it fully encases the natural tooth, strengthening it and protecting it from further damage. Your dentist may also recommend installing a dental crown if a large cavity cannot support dental fillings.
Generally, crowns can provide a short-term or long-term fix for a damaged tooth. While crowns can be crafted using different materials, ceramic and porcelain acrylic pontics offer the best aesthetics. On the other hand, crowns made from metal or gold alloys are the most durable and cost-effective. Irrespective of the material used, your dental crown will restore the strength of your damaged tooth.
Understanding How Dental Bridges Work
The work of a dental bridge is to replace a missing tooth or missing teeth in a row. This can help restore the aesthetics of your smile, readjust your bite and ensure proper speech and chewing. Moreover, a dental bridge can help you maintain the shape of your face. Again, you can have your dental bridges made from various materials, although ceramic and porcelain pontics offer enhanced aesthetics.
5 Types of Dental Crowns and Their Pros and Cons
If you want to save a damaged tooth using crowns, there are several options you can explore. Generally, the crown material you choose will dictate the cost of treatment as well as the procedure you will undergo.
Here are the five main options you have:
As you may have guessed, gold crowns are not made purely from gold. They are made from copper combined with other metals such as chromium or nickel. While gold crowns make it obvious that you have undergone restorative dentistry, they are a popular option for their strength and longevity.
- Unmatched strength and resilience compared to other crowns
- Long-lasting with proper maintenance
- Treatment only requires removing a small portion of your natural tooth
- A perfect option for strengthening the back teeth
- They don’t resemble natural teeth
- Some patients suffer allergic reactions to gold alloy crowns
All Porcelain Crowns
The most popularly used type of crown is the all-porcelain option. It ensures that the restored tooth looks and feels like the rest of your dental. Your dentist will shape, tint, and polish the crown to ensure the restored tooth matches the surrounding teeth’ color, shape, and size.
- Most natural-looking aesthetics
- Most ideal option for restoring the front teeth
- Porcelain is toxic-free and entirely safe for use
- Not as durable as metal crowns
- Not suitable for patients with bruxism
- Costlier than metal crowns
PFM Crowns (Porcelain Fused-to-Metal)
PFM crowns are a metal and porcelain crown hybrid. They bring the best characteristics of both devices, ensuring enhanced aesthetics and longevity. The metal structure provides increased strength, while the porcelain coat offers a natural dental visual appeal.
- Excellent levels of durability and visual appeal
- More affordable than all-porcelain crowns
- They leave a grey line along the gum line that may mess with the visual aesthetics of your smile.
- Not ideal for patients who clench their teeth
The Zirconia Crowns are relatively new in the world of dentistry. They are made from a Zirconium material that offers the strength of metal crowns and the visual appeal of porcelain crowns.
- Better aesthetics compared to PFM crowns.
- Robust, durable, and less vulnerable to breaking or premature wear
- The installation procedure is less time consuming (your dentist can cut and shape the material at the office without the need to send your dental impressions to a lab)
- Toxic and metal-free (reduced likelihood of allergic reactions)
The teeth Zirconia Crowns bite against are prone to accelerated wear of the enamel.
E- MAX Crowns (Lithium Disilicate)
E-Max crowns are also pretty new in the world of dentistry. They are a unique type of all-ceramic crowns crafted using a light and thin material called lithium disilicate. As expected of new technology, the crowns offer a whole host of advanced benefits.
- Outstanding aesthetics
- Strong and durable
- Ideal for both the back and front teeth
- Expensive compared to other crown options
- The success of a procedure is not guaranteed, especially when treating multiple damaged teeth
5 Types of Dental Bridges and Their Pros and Cons
Again, you will have several options at your disposal if you require restorative dentistry using bridges. The right choice will depend on your specific needs. For instance, your dentist may consider the number of teeth that need replacing and where the gap is situated in your mouth. Like dental crowns, dental bridges can are available in a range of materials, including:
- Composite resin
- Metals such as palladium, chromium, gold alloy, and nickel
Here are the five main types of dental bridges:
Traditional Dental Bridge
Traditional bridges are perhaps the most common. Essentially, the bridge is made of dental crowns that adhere to an abutment on either side and one or more fake teeth in the middle. The dental crowns are anchor points that keep the replaced teeth in place.
- Great aesthetics
- Strong and durable
- The two natural teeth adjacent to a gap require modification
Cantilever Dental Bridge
The main difference between a traditional dental bridge and a cantilever dental bridge is that the latter only requires a single abutment. The cantilever bridges are mainly used to replace the front teeth.
- Less expensive and time-intensive than installing traditional bridges
- Great aesthetics
- Can safely restore the functions of missing front teeth
- May not provide reliable solutions in some cases
- Not an ideal option for replacing the back teeth
Maryland Bonded Bridge
Another dental bridge option is the Maryland bonded bridge. The option is quite similar to traditional bridges, the main difference being that instead of using crowns as anchors, the bridge features a porcelain or metal framework. This makes it unnecessary to modify the abutments (healthy, natural teeth on either side of a gap). The frameworks adhere perfectly to the back of adjacent teeth and provide much-needed support.
- A more conservative alternative to traditional bridges
- Less tough on the wallet
- strength of the bridge is dependent on your dentist’s choice of adhesive.
- Bridges with metal frameworks can cause tooth stains
Implant-supported dental bridges are also pretty similar to traditional bridges. The main difference is that instead of anchoring on modified natural teeth, your dentist will install dental implants. Consequently, the bridges can be used to fill large gaps with more than one missing tooth.
- The installed dental implants provide unmatched strength and durability
Ideal option for filling large gaps
- Treatment involves an invasive procedure and recovery time
Composite bridges offer a fast and affordable means of replacing one or more missing teeth. This option allows you to benefit from restorative dentistry in just one dental appointment. In this case, your dentist will use a composite bonding material and place it directly on the gap. Your dentist will use a Ribbond ribbon to support the bridge. Note that composite bridges can only provide temporary solutions.
- Fast and affordable
- Ideal for patients who need a temporary solution as they consider other restorative alternatives
- Prone to chipping and debonding
What Is The Cost Of Dental Crowns?
The amount of money you will spend on dental crown treatments may depend on various factors. These factors include the crown material you choose, the size of the affected tooth, and the level of prep work required.
For instance, dental crowns made from gold alloy tend to be cheaper than all-porcelain crowns. On the other hand, a treatment procedure may cost a little more if the preparation involves a root canal before installing the crown.
What Is The Cost Of Installing Dental Bridges?
Again, the cost of treatment when installing dental bridges will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Some of the critical factors that influence the price of a procedure include:
- The size of the gap and number of missing teeth
- The type of dental bridge you choose and its materials
- The level of preparation work required (for instance, you may spend more if your dentist must install dental implants before placing the dental bridge)
Missing teeth can affect more than just your oral health. As such, a decent number of dental insurance policies provide full coverage for dental crowns and bridges. Depending on your insurance plan, you may have to pay only a small portion of the incurred expenses.
What Is The Expected Lifespan Of Dental Crowns And Bridges?
On average, dental bridges can last anywhere between 5 and 7 years. However, they can last for a decade with proper oral health and hygiene practices. On the other hand, crowns last longer depending on the material used. While some options are prone to cracking and chipping, increasing the need for replacement, others can last a lifetime. On average, a dental crown can last between one and three decades.
Here are some of the factors that influence the durability of dental crowns and bridges:
The main factor that will determine the durability of your dental crown or bridge is its material. For instance, devices made from metal tend to last longer than those made from Porcelain.
Your Dentist’s Level of Expertise
Installing dental crowns and implants is a technical process. In both cases, your dentist will need to prepare your teeth for installs. Proper prep work goes a long way in ensuring the installed devices last longer.
Your Oral Health
When installing crowns, the general well-being of the affected tooth may play a significant role in determining how long the device will last. On the other hand, the health of the abutments may affect the longevity of a dental bridge, especially if you don’t intend to use implants. Patients with healthy gums and surrounding teeth tend to benefit from treatments for longer.
Your lifestyle may also dictate how long dental crowns and bridges will last. Improper oral hygiene practices and habits such as teeth grinding, smoking, and alcohol consumption may reduce the life expectancy of the installed devices. Moreover, hard foods like nuts or strong-colored beverages like coffee may force your crowns or bridges to require replacement sooner than expected.
Here are a few basic practices that may increase the life expectancy of dental crowns and bridges:
- Brush your teeth before going to bed and once during the day
- Floss daily and use quality mouthwash at least once each day
- Have your teeth and oral health checked at least twice annually
- Visit a dental hygienist once every six months
Find La Puente Family Dentist Near Me
Dental crowns offer a reliable means of repairing damaged teeth. On the other hand, you can use a dental bridge to fill the gap left by a missing tooth or teeth. The ideal option will depend on whether your natural teeth can be saved or needs replacement. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the La Puente Advanced Dentistry for consultation if you require restorative dentistry. We offer a range of treatments that can help restore the functions and aesthetics of your natural teeth. Call us today at 626-626-7075.