Crowns & Bridges: State of the Art Dentistry In Shreveport LA[divider]
Sometimes people lose a tooth or two due to an accident or tooth decay. Missing teeth can leave gaps in our smile, affect our ability to chew, and if the space is left empty for a long time, result in decreased bone height and affects the shape of your gum in that area.
Restorative dentistry can help. The goal of restorative dentistry is to bring your beautiful smile back.
Dental crowns and bridges are common restorative treatments. Single crown restorations are usually completely fixed, while bridges come in fixed and removable types. Nowadays, most crowns and bridges are supported by implants meaning that teeth on either side of the empty space don’t have to be shaped or ground down and/or root canaled to support the crown as in the past.
What are Crowns?
A crown may be used to restore a broken or severely worn down tooth, or support a tooth with a large filling and not much natural coronal tooth structure left, or be used to hold parts of a cracked tooth together. A dental crown protects a weak tooth from decay or further damage.
A dental crown is a “cap” for your tooth that completely covers your tooth at and above the gumline. It is tooth-shaped and usually made of porcelain, which means it looks very much like your natural teeth.
What are Bridges?
A dental bridge “bridges” the gap between two teeth. A traditional bridge usually requires two supporting teeth on either side of the empty space. These two teeth are root canaled, a metal bar suspended in between and artificial crowns placed over top. Then the bridge clips onto the metal bar.
More and more people are choosing to have their bridges supported by dental implants which means not having to root canal a perfectly healthy. An implant-supported bridge holds the bridge securely in place while allowing easy clip-in and clip-out for ease of cleaning.
Making Crowns and Bridges
The first step into making a crown or a bridge is to consult with Dr. Ben so he can assess what needs to be done and take impressions of the teeth area that needs to be treated. The impressions will be used to create a mold so the proper sized crown or crowns can be fabricated. With today’s computer design technology and materials, it’s even easier to get a great, natural looking result.
Crowns usually have a lifespan of five to eight years while bridges can last a little longer. It all depends on proper dental care and healthy lifestyle choices including avoiding habits that could damage your crown such as smoking, chewing on ice cubes and other hard substances.
Caring for Bridges and Crowns
For patients with bridges, it is important to be meticulous about caring for the supporting (pontic) teeth so that the roots remain healthy and strong. The same goes for implant-supported crowns and bridges. Just because the crowns and roots may be artificial doesn’t mean you should stop brushing and flossing. Food particles still get stuck, and plaque and tartar can still form and compromise the underlying bone and gums. Dr. Ben will instruct you on how to care for your crown and bridge.