Over time, our smiles can suffer because of damaged, discolored or missing teeth. This is not only unsightly but causes some real health issues as well. A family dentist who specializes in restorative procedures can help you bring back the beauty and function of your teeth with dental crowns and bridges, giving you renewed confidence and creating a healthier mouth.
Crowns and Bridges – What are they?
Dental crowns are tooth-colored caps placed over an existing tooth to cover damage or discoloration. A crown is a permanent restoration and covers an entire tooth.
Dental bridges are essentially crowns that are used to replace one or more missing teeth. They can be fixed to adjacent teeth or to dental implants. A bridge attached to a dental implant is usually preferred because it does not produce any undue strain on adjacent healthy teeth. It also gives the most natural appearance.
What’s the procedure like?
Dental crowns and bridges usually take two to three visits to complete.
The initial visit consists of a diagnosis and treatment plan, including x-rays. During the second visit, your mouth will be prepared for the chosen treatment by removing any fillings and reshaping the supporting teeth or installing your implants. Your dentist will also take imprints of your teeth and install any temporary structures.
The third visit usually occurs two to three weeks later. At that time your temporary support will be removed and you will be fitted with your permanent crown or bridge.
Crowns and bridges should cause no down time, however, you may experience swelling or tenderness for a few days after the procedure and your dentist may prescribe pain medication. It is advisable to eat soft foods during this time.
William Harper performs the dental bridge and dental crown procedures in the Hampton Roads area as part of his restorative dentistry practice.