A good set of teeth is essential for a beautiful, confident smile and this is what a Kennewick WA dentist can give back to a patient with damaged teeth with the use of dental crowns and teeth bridges. Besides strengthening teeth that have become weak from a fracture or root canal treatment, fixed crowns help to improve the appearance of poorly-shaped or discolored teeth. Likewise, aside from helping to maintain the bite and avoiding temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and gum diseases, a person who has lost one or more teeth can have a bridge made to fill the gaps in order to flash a complete set of teeth for that winning smile.
Difference Between a Crown and a Bridge
A crown is placed on a damaged tooth, to cover or “cap” it and is typically made of porcelain that can be matched to the color of your other natural teeth, bonded to a metal shell for added strength. Functionally, crowns are useful as they restore the structure of fractured teeth and serve as the replacement tooth onto which a bridge can be attached to replace missing teeth.
Bridges are cemented either to natural teeth or implants that are beside the gap of the missing tooth. These are called abutments, anchoring the replacement tooth or the pontic, to surrounding teeth and filling the empty space in between. Like crowns, porcelain bridges can be matched to the color of the patient’s remaining natural teeth.
How Long Before a Crown or Bridge Can Be Put in Place
Getting a crown or bridge may take a while but the end-result makes the effort and waiting worthwhile. It begins with the tooth (or teeth) being reduced in size in order for the crown or bridge to fit over it, after which the dentist will take an impression that will serve as the mold for the crown or bridge. The impression goes to a dental lab that will make the permanent crown or bridge in the material specified by the dentist.
Meanwhile, a temporary crown or bridge will be placed on the prepared tooth/teeth as the permanent one is being made. Once the permanent crown or bridge is already available, it will be cemented over the prepared tooth/teeth upon removal of the temporary one.
A Lifetime with a Confident Smile Awaits
While crowns or bridges can sometimes become loose and fall out, good oral hygiene consisting of daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing plus regular dental check-ups and prophylaxis can help maintain permanent crowns and bridges for a lifetime.
For patients who would like to see their beautiful smile and confident self back again, let Dr. Walter G. Hadley, DDS help you get there, by setting an appointment with his Washington dental office through 509-591-0515.