Dental crowns and bridges are common treatments for restoring damaged or missing teeth. In this guide by Novudentics Prosthodontics, we cover some important things to keep in mind about crowns and bridges, their differences, lifespan, costs, number of teeth, and whether the procedures are painful. Think of this a guide to all things related to crowns, bridges, and how they affect the health of your teeth.
What are Dental Crowns and Bridges?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap placed over a damaged tooth to restore its shape, size, and strength. The crown protects the remaining tooth from further decay and damage.
Bridges span the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge has crowns anchored on the surrounding teeth, with false teeth fused between them to replace the missing ones.
Visit a Prosthodontist For Crowns and Bridges
Seeing a prosthodontist for dental crowns and bridges can be highly beneficial, especially for extensive tooth restoration. Prosthodontists complete 3-4 years of specialized training beyond regular dental school in restoring and replacing teeth.
Their advanced expertise equips them to handle complex cases with multiple damaged or missing teeth that require bridges. Prosthodontists also have advanced skills in areas like aesthetic design, evaluating your bite, selecting materials, and precision fitting of bridges for maximum comfort and longevity. For this reason, prosthodontists provide a superior crown and bridge service.
For full mouth restoration, prosthodontists can develop an integrated treatment plan considering all your needs. With their advanced training and skills, visiting a prosthodontist can help ensure optimal, long-lasting outcomes for major reconstructions using crowns and bridges.
Which is Better – Crowns or Bridges?
Crowns and bridges both have pros and cons. Crowns are less invasive since they require less shaving of the surrounding teeth. Bridges can replace multiple missing teeth while crowns only restore one.
The choice depends on your specific needs. For example, bridges may be preferred if you have multiple adjacent missing teeth. Your dentist will advise you on the best options for your situation.
How Long Do Crowns and Bridges Last?
With proper oral care, crowns and bridges can last 5-15 years or longer before needing replacement. Good oral hygiene and regular dental visits help maximize their lifespan.
Factors like placement in the mouth, forces from chewing, grinding or clenching, and quality of the materials also impact longevity. Your dentist will discuss expected lifespan based on your needs.
Tips For Taking Care of Your Crowns and Bridges
Here are some good tips for caring for dental crowns and bridges:
- Brush and floss normally. Take care to clean around the crown or bridge like you would your natural teeth. Floss threaders can help get under the bridge.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to avoid damaging the restorations. Take care not to catch the edges of crowns when brushing.
- Avoid sticky, hard, or crunchy foods that could dislodge or damage the crowns or bridge.
- See your dentist regularly for exams and professional cleanings to maximize longevity. Tartar buildup can lead to decay around crowns.
- Use a mouthguard if you grind your teeth to prevent excessive wear.
- Watch for chipping or damage and get repairs promptly to prevent further deterioration.
- Avoid chewing ice, pens, nails or other hard objects that can crack the porcelain.
- Use a straw to drink acidic or staining beverages to minimize erosion effects on crowns.
- Don’t chew hard items like nuts or candy on the side with bridges to prevent loosening or damage.
Following good oral hygiene and being careful with crown and bridge work can help them last many years before replacement is needed. Let your dentist know right away if you have any concerns.
Which Costs More – a Crown or Bridge?
Bridges tend to cost more than crowns given the greater number of teeth involved. A single crown may run $500 to $3000 per tooth, or even more depending on your condition. A bridge costs $700 to $15,000, or more depending on the type and number of teeth to be replaced. It’s difficult to put an exact number on this procedure because they are always customized to unique situations.
Various factors affect the final costs like materials used, dental office fees, and your insurance coverage. Your dentist can provide a cost estimate specific to your treatment plan.
How Many Teeth Can Go on a Bridge?
The number of teeth that can go on a bridge depends on how many original, anchoring teeth remain. Standard bridges have crowns on the teeth flanking the gap on either side.
Longer bridges are possible by adding more crowns to interior anchoring teeth. However, bridges with multiple missing teeth or many anchoring crowns often require implants for best stability. Your dentist will advise on options to replace your missing teeth.
Are Dental Crowns and Bridges a Painful Procedure?
Crown and bridge procedures usually do not cause much pain. Temporary discomfort from the injection to numb the area may be felt. After numbness sets in, you should not feel pain during the procedure.
Some sensitivity as the anesthesia wears off is normal, but over-the-counter pain medication can help relieve it. Proper anesthesia, precision crown preparation by your dentist, and following post-procedure care instructions can all minimize pain.
At Novudentics, we understand some patients feel anxious or fearful about dental procedures. That’s why we offer sedation dentistry: to help you feel comfortable and relaxed. Our skilled dentists can provide different levels of sedation, from mild to deeper sedation depending on your needs. We use safe, effective medications to induce a state of relaxation before and during your dental treatment.
You may feel drowsy and possibly drift off to sleep while we work, with little or no memory of the procedure afterwards. Sedation dentistry can be ideal if you have extensive treatment planned, such as multiple crowns or bridges, and want a seamless experience. With our advanced safety protocols and monitoring, sedation allows us to perform the necessary dental treatments while you remain comfortable.
Can a Prosthodontist Help with Crowns and Bridges?
Prosthodontists are specialized dentists with advanced training in treatments like crowns and bridges. Their expertise can be especially helpful for complex cases involving multiple missing or damaged teeth.
Prosthodontists have additional skills in areas like aesthetic design, bite evaluation, and maximizing the fit and longevity of bridges. Consulting a prosthodontist is a good idea for full mouth restorations.
Summary – Crowns and Bridges Explained
Crowns and bridges both effectively restore damaged or missing teeth. Consider factors like cost, number of teeth involved, longevity, and your prosthodontist’s recommendation when deciding which option is right for your needs. Proper oral care and checkups will help maximize the lifespan of your restoration.