Crowns & Bridges
These days, there are a variety of cosmetic dental procedures available for patients who are unsatisfied with the appearance or function of their teeth. Crowns and bridges are two effective options for treating common issues that negatively impact the way teeth look and perform.
What are Tooth Bridges and Dental Crowns?
Crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices that are cemented onto existing teeth or dental implants. Once in place, these devices either protect an existing tooth or replace missing teeth to improve both function and aesthetics.
Crowns are used to cover damaged teeth, effectively strengthening their ability to function, while improving shape, appearance or alignment. Crowns can also be placed atop implants to provide a tooth-like structure for the sake of aesthetics and function.
Crowns can be made of alloys, gold, porcelain or resin, designed to mimic the color of your actual teeth. Because alloys are typically stronger than porcelain, dentists sometimes recommend them for the rear teeth. Porcelain is often bonded over metal to create stronger, more aesthetically pleasing crowns.
Dentists typically recommend crowns to:
- Protect weak teeth from breaking or cracking
Replace especially large fillings when there is little tooth remaining
- Cap teeth that have had root canal therapy
- Restore cracked or broken teeth
- Affix a functional bridge
- Cap dental implants
- Cover stained or oddly shaped teeth
Bridges are often recommended for patients who are missing one or more teeth. Since missing teeth can leave gaps which can cause remaining teeth to shift, bridges may be used to restore functional balance and reduce the risk of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, bite alignment issues and gum disease.
Since they span the complete space where a tooth is missing, bridges are an effective option for covering spaces where two or more teeth are missing. Like crowns, bridges are permanently cemented to implant posts or existing teeth which surround the empty space. Called abutments, these adjacent teeth act as anchors for the dental bridge.
What to Expect
Patients usually require two different appointments to receive a crown. During the first visit, the dentist will evaluate your teeth. The dentist will then shape the tooth to accommodate the crown. He or she will then take a mold and either create the crown on-site using 3D printing or send the mold off to a lab. Patients are usually given temporary caps which are removed at the following appointment, when the permanent crown is placed.
For dental bridges, patients usually require multiple appointments. During the first visit, the dentist places a crown over the abutment teeth and then takes impressions for the bridge. The bridge is then installed at the following appointment; however, you may have to schedule a third appointment to make sure the bridge is positioned correctly.
What About Costs?
The out-of-pocket cost of bridges and crowns can vary, depending on your location, insurance coverage and individual needs. Your insurance plan may cover all or a portion of your procedure, depending on how much of your available benefits have been used during a given period. Our friendly staff can explain costs, alternatives and payment options, including potential in-house discounts and financing plans for patients who qualify.
How do I Schedule a Consultation?
Give us a call today. Our friendly, professional office staff will work with you to set up an appointment that fits your schedule, even if that means an evening or weekend.