BRIDGES & CROWNS
What is a Bridge?
Bridges are one of the restorative options available to a patient who has lost a tooth. Bridges can be an effective way to replace the tooth, stabilize the area, and restore a natural smile.
Like the name implies, bridges involve “bridging the gap” of a missing tooth using teeth on either side of the opening. The missing tooth is replaced with a porcelain tooth along with two adjacent crowns on the neighboring teeth. This three-tooth unit is cemented together, and the replacement tooth is secured to a metal substructure, providing stability. Once the procedure is complete, the teeth will appear to be normal and healthy.
After the Procedure
A dental bridge that is properly cared for can last 10 years or longer. While a dental bridge will allow a person to chew normally, some changes to oral hygiene and eating habits may be necessary.
Everyone needs good oral health habits, but this is especially true for those with a bridge. If not properly cleaned, the original teeth and the gums around the replacement can decay, causing additional problems. To combat this, people with dental bridges need to do the following:
- Brush at least twice a day
- Floss once a day, paying special attention to the area below the bridge
- Schedule regular cleanings with a dentist
Some people are surprised to learn that brushing and flossing alone may not be able to combat the effects of diet and bad habits. For those with bridges, making the following changes will prolong the health of their teeth, as well as improve their overall wellbeing:
- Eating more fruits and vegetables; eating less red meat
- Reducing sugar consumption
- Quitting smoking or chewing tobacco
We Are Here to Help
At Steamboat Dental Center, we provide superior dental bridge services, as well as a full range of other preventative measures and treatments. If you are missing a tooth, get in contact with us before you experience additional problems. Restore the smile you once had, and improve your overall well-being.
Do I Need a Crown?
As the name implies, a crown sits atop a tooth, usually one that has been severely compromised. Crowns resemble the color and shape of the original and cover the entire outer shell of an existing tooth. They can serve a number purposes, and they generally achieve outstanding results.
To begin the process, we take digital scans of the area to make sure the root is structurally sound. If we find too much decay, a root canal may be necessary before we attach the crown. The next step is to file down the tooth and reshape it. Typically, this can all be accomplished in one visit thanks to our E4D CAD/CAM system. The digital scanner eliminates the messiness of the traditional technique, which involved squirting material onto the teeth. The crowns that we produce are tooth-colored, matching the color of the adjacent teeth.
In some cases, a model will be made and sent to a dental lab, where it will usually take a couple of weeks to be fashioned. We always make sure the crown matches your existing tooth and fits the color of your other teeth.
After the Procedure
Crowns last between 5 and 15 years, depending on how much stress they are subjected to. Crowns can chip, break, detach, and decay if not properly cared for. To extend the life of a crown, patients should avoid the following bad habits:
- Teeth grinding
- Chewing ice
- Opening bags or other packaging with their teeth
- Chewing only on one side of their mouth
Certain foods should also be avoided to prevent the crown from loosening or coming off altogether:
- Hard candy including toffee
- Any other extremely chewy substance
A patient with a crown needs to keep in mind, too, that gum disease or tooth decay is still a danger. Regular brushing, flossing, and cleanings are necessary to preserve the health of the tooth.
A Crown Specialist in Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Dental Center has a team of experienced oral health professionals who deliver high quality crowns. If you are having any issues with your bite, chronic toothaches, or other irregularities, come talk to us. We have built a reputation for superior oral health services and customer care in Steamboat Springs. We’ll be happy to discuss your options and explain more about crowns or other beneficial dental procedures.