Crowns and bridges are a typical fix when a tooth or multiple teeth have been severely damaged or lost. A crown is usually used for one or more damaged teeth, whereas a bridge can span the area of multiple teeth lost. Both are great solutions for damaged or lost teeth and can help restore function and strength to the surrounding teeth. 

The Benefits of Crowns and Bridges

Whether you need a crown to cover a damaged tooth, or a bridge to fill the gap between two teeth, both of these procedures provide many benefits to our patients. The main benefit and immediate need for crowns and bridges are to strengthen teeth that are damaged from tooth decay or that are weakened from missing teeth. A crown covers the damaged tooth, strengthening and protecting it, while a bridge provides reinforcement for the teeth surrounding a missing tooth.

Outside of the strengthening benefits, crowns and bridges are also a popular option in cosmetic dentistry. They can be used to improve a tooth’s appearance, shape, and alignment. Bridges are also especially effective in maintaining and improving bites. If you’re a missing a tooth or multiple teeth, the surrounding teeth can shift and impact your bite negatively. Bridges help prevent this by filling in the gaps and maintaining, if not improving, your current bite.

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Professional Dental Cleanings

As part of the routine checkup, we also thoroughly clean your teeth once every six months. Our cleaning process is quick, easy, and as painless as possible. We start off with a physical exam performed by one of our qualified dental hygienists. This is when we check for any signs of inflamed gums (gingivitis) and other potential concerns.

We then use a scaler to get rid of plaque and tartar around your gum line and between your teeth. This is one of the most important steps in the cleaning process as plaque and tartar are the worst culprits of gum disease and tooth decay. While brushing and flossing regularly can help with this step, a professional cleaning is recommended to prevent hard to reach build up.

The Difference Between Crowns and Bridges

Depending on your specific case, Dr. Lee will recommend either a crown or bridge to remedy your issue. Below are a few differences between these two options that will be taken into account when assessing your case and choosing your solution.

How Crowns Work

Crowns are primarily used when a tooth has been damaged severely enough that there’s not enough tooth remaining for a filling. In these situations, a crown is used to completely cover or “cap” an existing tooth. This provides extra strength and protection to the damaged tooth, as well as possibly improving its appearance, shape, or alignment. Dr. Lee may recommend a crown for you if…

  • there isn’t enough tooth left for a filling
  • to strengthen a weak tooth and prevent fracturing
  • to cover a dental implant, a poorly shaped tooth, or a discolored tooth
  • to attach a bridge to it

How Bridges Work

The most common need for a bridge is to fill in the gap from one or more missing teeth. If left untreated for an extended amount of time, the teeth surrounding the area of the missing tooth will eventually start to move, rotate, and shift, resulting in a bad bite and possibly jaw issues. With this procedure, bridges are cemented to the original or implanted teeth, which are called abutments, and span the area of the missing teeth. A pontic, the replacement tooth, is then attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. The finished look will look seamless with your other teeth and provide necessary reinforcement to keep maintain your bite and teeth’s health. Dr. Lee may recommend a bridge for you if…

  • you’re missing one or more teeth
  • your tooth is severely decayed or broken and can’t support a crown

Application and Lifetime of Crowns and Bridges

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With both crowns and bridges, the original teeth have to be filed down and made smaller to fit the new hardware over them. Dr. Lee will then take an exact impression of your teeth to create the mold from, ensuring it will fit securely over your existing teeth. Molds are typically made out of porcelain and will be matched to your tooth color to blend in with the surrounding teeth when cemented.

While the mold is being created, Dr. Lee will create a temporary crown or bridge to be placed until the permanent one is created. When the final crown or bridge is ready, the temporary one will be removed and replaced with the permanent version.

As with most things, proper care and maintenance will help your crown or bridge last as long as it can. Practicing good oral hygiene will help ward off dental and gum disease, ensuring your crowns and bridges stay strong. Without good oral hygiene, both of these prosthetics can lose support if the teeth securing them are damaged. Making regular trips to Friends and Family Dental will also help your crowns and bridges stay healthy, strong, and secure.

Professional Crowns and Bridges Services in Phoenix

With nearly three decades of experience in dentistry, Friends and Family Dental is a choice you can feel confident about. Whether you simply need a routine cleaning, or something more intensive like periodontal therapy, we have the skills and confidence to ensure your smile is in good hands. If you need crowns or bridges for your teeth, contact us today.