A crown or a bridge is often necessary when you’ve damaged or lost a tooth. But crowns and bridges are best suited to different situations. Aman Bhullar, DMD of The Glen Dental in San Jose, California, explains what you need to know about crowns and bridges and which is right for you.
What are crowns and bridges?
Crowns and bridges are prosthetic dental devices used when you have a damaged or missing tooth. Unlike dentures, crowns and bridges are permanent and can’t be removed. Your dentist attaches a crown or bridge to existing teeth or implants. Both crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, although sometimes they may need to be replaced.
What are crowns?
Crowns are also called caps and cover existing teeth. A crown can strengthen a tooth or improve its appearance, shape, or alignment. Crowns are usually made of ceramic or porcelain and are made to match your surrounding teeth.
Dr. Bhullar may recommend a crown to do the following:
- Replace a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth surface remaining
- Protect a weak tooth from breaking
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had a root canal
- Attach a bridge
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
Most dental crowns require at least two visits.
What are bridges?
Bridges are sets of prosthetic teeth that bridge the gap created by missing teeth. Like crowns, they can be custom-made to match the color of your other teeth. Bridges are often anchored to the surrounding teeth. It’s essential to have a bridge in place because missing teeth can cause an altered bite or cause temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
Bridges require at least two dental visits. At The Glen Dental, Dr. Aman Bhullar prepares the teeth surrounding your missing tooth, sometimes filing them down to allow optimum room for the bridge. They may also take films or X-rays of your mouth to ensure the right fit.
At the final visit, your dentist will secure the bridge to nearby teeth for permanent placement in your mouth.
How to care for your crown or bridge
Crowns and bridges are generally strong. You should care for them as you do for your other teeth: with regular brushing or flossing. However, you may want to avoid certain foods that can damage your crown or bridge, especially sticky foods like caramels and chewy candies and hard foods and ice.
To learn more about crowns and bridges, and for all of your oral heal care needs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Bhullar at The Glen Dental. Give the office a call at (408) 816-1008 to schedule a consultation. You can also send us a message online.