Your dentist may suggest getting a dental bridge or crown if you are missing a tooth. In this post, our Ottawa dentists explain the differences between these tooth replacements and what you can expect from them.
Dentists are able to use dental crowns and bridges to replace missing teeth. These replacement methods look natural and can be used for one missing tooth or an area of missing teeth.
In many cases, dental crowns and bridges are used together. A bridge typically consists of a tooth replacement in the middle and two crowns at either side, bridging the gap of missing teeth. This can be effective if the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are healthy enough to support a bridge.
A dental crown caps the surface of a tooth, restoring its strength and appearance. It can protect weak teeth, restore broken teeth, cover teeth that are misshapen or discoloured, and secure dental bridges. Crowns can be made from metal (such as gold), porcelain and metal, ceramic, resin, or stainless steel.
Bridges are dental appliances that consist of crowns and artificial teeth. They help to stabilize surrounding teeth, making sure they don't shift out of place and fill the gap of missing teeth.
What Are Their Benefits?
- They can renew your confidence when smiling with a more uniform appearance
- They make speaking and eating easier
- They prevent the shifting of surrounding teeth, improving the long-term health of your mouth
- Dental crowns and bridges help support facial tissue
How Dental Crowns & Bridges Are Placed
Your dentist will prepare the healthy teeth that are on both sides of the missing tooth. This consists of filing them to the shapes and sizes needed to let the crowns be placed.
Placing a dental bridge isn't surgical, and patients are awake throughout the process. But, if you suffer from dental anxiety, your dentist might provide you with techniques to reduce your fear or suggest dental sedation as a way to help you relax. Speak to your dentist to see if this is a solution for you.
To make sure the bridge will fit your mouth, your dentist will take measurements and imprints of the surrounding teeth. Occasionally, temporary crowns can be made, which will have to be removed when the permanent one is being placed.
Your dentist will numb the area receiving the crowns and bridge by using local anesthesia. The bridge will then be cemented in place.
In a situation where multiple teeth are missing or where the teeth aren't able to support a bridge, the bridge could be anchored to dental implants. Your dentist will discuss your options with you.
What You Can Expect
Recovery time is quite short, with most people adapting to their new replacement teeth immediately.
Crowns and bridges need to be brushed and flossed daily, just like natural teeth. They are quite durable and can withstand normal use such as biting and chewing. If you take proper care of them, they should last about 10 years, making crowns and bridges a great long-term solution for missing teeth.