Dental professionals use restorative dentistry to replace damaged or missing teeth. The goal is to prevent future dental issues and bring back a natural smile. Missing teeth affect one’s self-esteem, looks, and health. Treatment options include bridges and crowns. Replacing teeth allows one to maintain good oral hygiene.
The term bridge is an appropriate description because it ‘bridges’ a gap between teeth that are missing. A cosmetic dentist often suggests bridges for lost teeth because they keep other teeth from moving. The teeth remain in place with a space replacement. After establishing a perfect fit, cement holds the bridges in place. Once in place, the bridge works just like natural teeth.
The teeth used to attach a bridge are abutments that serve as anchors. A choice of materials is available. The decision of material depends on the location of missing teeth, cost, aesthetic considerations and function. Ceramic and porcelain dental bridges come in colors that match natural teeth.
Crowns are tooth-shaped caps placed over teeth. They are used to protect the structure of teeth. Crowns look natural because of the hard, white substance utilized in the construction. They are ideal for teeth that are broken or have cavities.
Alignment, shape, and appearance are also concerns of cosmetic dentists who recommend crowns. Sometimes a cosmetic dentist offers a more conservative approach with dental veneers. Dental veneers change the shape and color of teeth. They do not require the same extensive shaping as needed for crowns. Dental veneers offer a strong, aesthetic alternative.
Before dental bridges or crowns undergo construction, teeth reduction in size takes place so that the bridges and crowns fit properly. The dentist makes an impression to establish an exact mold for the bridge or crown. The dentist determines the correct shade for the bridge or crown to match existing teeth. Based on the impression, a dental lab makes a bridge or crown in the specified material. A temporary bridge or crown covers the prepared tooth while waiting for the permanent replacement.
Practicing proper oral hygiene is the best way to ensure the longevity of the bridge or crown. Some last a lifetime. Others fall out or become loose. Dental disease causes a bridge to lose the support of the bone or teeth that holds it in place. Keep teeth and gums healthy by flossing daily and brushing twice each day with fluoride toothpaste. Regular professional cleanings and checkups are also part of proper dental hygiene. Contact our James Island dentist for an appointment to discuss bridges and crowns.