What Are Dental Crowns and Bridges?
Dental crowns and dental bridges are both restorative dental treatments. Like all restorative treatments, crowns and bridges restore your mouth to good health, all the while improving the appearance of your smile.
A dental crown is used to protect a damaged tooth. Matching your other teeth in size and color, dental crowns protect a tooth that has suffered from a crack, fracture, or decay. Dental crowns are also used to cover teeth that have had a root canal performed. Crowns are cared for just like you care for natural teeth. Although most dental crowns will need to be replaced eventually, many patients find that a dental crown may last 15 years or longer.
A dental bridge is used to replace a missing tooth or teeth. Most dental bridges rely on crowns placed on the teeth adjacent to the gap for anchoring. They support an artificial tooth or teeth that bridges the gap left by teeth that have been lost or extracted. Dental bridges, like crowns, are custom-made for each patient. A dental bridge can be expected to last at least 5-7 years and, in some cases, may last up to 15 years before needing to be replaced.
Benefits of Dental Crowns and Bridges
Dental crowns offer benefits including:
- Protect a damaged tooth from further decay or injury
- Match your other teeth in size, shape, and color
- Improve your chewing ability
- Serve as an anchor for a dental bridge
- Cover a chipped or discolored tooth
- Prevent extraction or loss of tooth
Dental bridges offer benefits including:
- Fill gaps from missing teeth
- Improve your chewing ability
- Improve your self-confidence
- Minimize or eliminate speech problems caused by missing teeth
- Prevent teeth from shifting into the void left by missing teeth
- Maintain your facial structure and appearance
Are You a Good Candidate for Crowns and Bridges?
Dental crowns and dental bridges are very common dental restorations. Most people will be excellent candidates for crowns or dental bridges, as they are non-surgical treatments. However, if you have any signs of gum disease, your dentist will need to treat it before placing your crown or dental bridge.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Crowns and Bridges
Will my dental insurance pay for a bridge or a crown?
This depends on your policy. In our experience, most insurance plans offer some coverage for restorative dental treatments such as crowns and bridges. The amount of coverage they offer may vary, so it is best to confirm your specific coverage with your insurer.
What happens if I don’t get a dental crown on a damaged tooth?
If you have a severely decayed, cracked, or chipped tooth and don’t seek treatment, risks to your oral health include losing a tooth, developing an infection, developing gum disease, or, in worst cases developing a painful dental abscess.
Can I still eat my favorite foods with a dental bridge or crown?
For the most part, you’ll be able to eat whatever you like once your dental crown or bridge is placed. However, you should avoid excessively chewy and sticky foods, such as taffy, gummy candy, and caramel.
Is a dental bridge removable?
No. Dental bridges are fixed restorations, just like dental crowns. They are not removable.