Reading Dental, Your Local Crown and Bridge Expert
While dental crowns and tooth bridges are common procedures here at Reading Dental, we find that patients come into our office pretty confused about the difference between the two processes. As your trusted dental expert, this is something we are determined to change by providing a detailed, yet simple, explanation of each procedure below.
Dental crowns and tooth bridges are both fixed prosthetic devices that are cemented onto your existing teeth and/or dental implants, but how do you know if this is the right procedure for you?
How Do I Know If a Crown or Bridge is What I need?
Dr. Simons will typically recommend one of these devices when a patient wants to:
- Replace a large filling when there is not enough tooth remaining
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had a root canal procedure
So, how does Dr. Simons determine if your particular tooth situation warrants a crown or a bridge, or something else altogether, like teeth bonding?
A crown is generally used to cover or cap an entire tooth providing 360 degrees of strength and structure. In addition to this coverage, a crown can aesthetically change the look of a damaged tooth.
A bridge is recommended if you’re missing one or more teeth. In this procedure, a custom prosthetic is adhered to the natural teeth or dental implants that surround an empty space or gap in your mouth. Then, a replacement tooth (or in some situations teeth) is attached to the newly adhered prosthetic forming a bridge.
Ultimately, Dr. Simons will make a decision to use a crown or a bridge based on two things: (1) if you have any missing teeth and (2) how damaged your natural teeth are. Dr. Simons will be happy to give you his professional recommendation on what you need for your specific issue when you come in for a consultation appointment.
The Crown or Bridge Procedure:
Number of Appointments: Approximately two visits
Below is a step-by-step description of what you can expect:
Step 1: Before a custom crown or bridge can be made, your tooth (or teeth) will need to filed down to ensure that the prosthetic fits properly.
Step 2: After this tooth reduction is complete, Dr. Simons will take an impression of your newly shaped tooth, which will be used as a mold to make your crown or bridge.
Step 3: While your personal prosthetic is being made, a temporary crown or bridge will be put in place to cover your teeth.
Step 4: Before you leave, we will schedule your second and final appointment.
Step 5: Once Dr. Simons receives your permanent solution from the off-site ceramist, which can take up to ten business days, he will remove the temporary fix and cement your permanent one in its place.
With the proper post-treatment care by you, properly placed crowns and bridges can last your entire life. Below are two simple ways to preserve the quality and increase the longevity of your prosthetic teeth:
- Always practice good oral hygiene including brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and flossing daily.
- Avoid chewing hard or sticky foods, such as salt water taffy, peanut brittle and ice cubes.
Of course, no two patients, teeth or smiles are the same, so we want to meet with you in person to give you our best advice. To get Dr. Simon’s personalized professional recommendation, call us at 781-944-5020, or fill out our quick form on the right to set up your complimentary consultation.