Crowns & Bridges in Chattanooga, TN
Dental crowns and bridges are restoration treatments that fix oral health problems while also improving the appearance of your smile. Modern technology and materials have made these two restoration techniques effective and reliable.
Dental crowns are a common treatment for restoring teeth to their full function and appearance. That’s why we recommend dental crowns to protect and restore weakened, damaged, or decayed teeth. Because dental crowns look just like your natural teeth, you can improve your smile and your oral health at the same time with this time-tested dental treatment.
Customized to fit your tooth precisely, a dental crown can last for years. In some cases, a dental crown prevents a tooth from being extracted. Made of strong, durable materials, a dental crown surrounds, strengthens, and supports the tooth underneath. Dental crowns can also improve the appearance of teeth that have cosmetic flaws.
Another restoration technique that improves your oral health and appearance is a dental bridge. Anchored by adjacent teeth or dental crowns, a dental bridge is an artificial tooth that replaces a missing tooth. Dental bridges keep nearby teeth from shifting into the empty space while also improving the aesthetics of your smile.
- When Do You Recommend a Dental Crown?
- How Do Dental Crowns Work?
- What Is the Dental Crown Process?
- Why Can't I Get a Filling Instead of a Dental Crown?
- What Is a Dental Bridge?
- Why Should I Replace Missing Teeth?
- When Do You Use Dental Bridges?
- What Can I Expect with a Dental Bridge?
- How Should I Care for Dental Crowns and Bridges?
- How Can I Learn More about Dental Crowns and Bridges?
When Do You Recommend a Dental Crown?
Dental crowns can solve many types of oral health issues and improve the appearance of your smile. A dental crown restores the shape, color, and size of your tooth to function normally. We may recommend a crown to restore a tooth in these situations:
- Restore infected or severely decayed teeth
- Strengthen fractured or broken teeth
- Replace large, unattractive fillings
- Protect a tooth after root canal therapy
- Anchor a dental bridge
- Cap a dental implant
- Fix deeply discolored teeth
How Do Dental Crowns Work?
Dental crowns work like caps to cover an existing tooth. Even ancient civilizations relied on dental crowns to surround and protect damaged teeth. Dental crowns function just like regular teeth, but their appearance and durability vary based on the material used:
Porcelain. Extremely durable and natural-looking, porcelain dental crowns are the most common treatment for visible front teeth
Porcelain fused to metal. Natural appearance with underlying metal for durability
Gold. The strongest material for dental crowns is gold, which requires the least amount of tooth to be removed in preparation
What Is the Dental Crown Process?
The dental crown process takes two to three visits, and you’ll usually have your permanent crown within about two weeks. First, we’ll prepare your tooth for the restoration, filing down part of the outer structure. Next, we will take impressions of your teeth and send them to a lab for your custom-fit dental crown.
We will fit you with a temporary dental crown to protect the tooth and gums until your permanent one arrives. You’ll need to be careful about biting down on hard foods and avoid chewing on that side with your temporary crown.
When you return to our dental office, we’ll check the new dental crown to make sure it fits perfectly. Finally, we’ll bond the dental crown to your existing tooth. Your new tooth will be functional and ready to use right away.
Why Can't I Get a Filling Instead of a Dental Crown?
Protecting your teeth is our top priority, and we do everything we can to prevent you from losing a tooth. If your tooth structure already has extensive damage, chewing on the tooth may cause irreparable damage below the gum line.
A dental filling works well to protect teeth with less damage or decay, but a dental crown prevents the tooth from sustaining further damage from chewing forces. Once we place the dental crown on the damaged tooth, it’s safe from additional fractures or cracks.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
If you’re looking for a relatively quick, non-invasive way to replace missing teeth, dental bridges may be the perfect solution. A dental bridge is an artificial tooth (pontic) that attaches to the two adjacent teeth (abutments). Abutment teeth need dental crowns in order to support the dental bridge effectively. Dental implants on either side of the dental bridge also work well.
Dental bridges are a long-term solution for missing teeth, lasting five to 15 years.
Why Should I Replace Missing Teeth?
Replacing a missing tooth with a dental bridge lets you smile with confidence, chew and speak properly, and prevent other teeth from moving out of place. When you restore a missing tooth, your face shape retains its natural contours, and your bite resumes healthy function.
Missing teeth can cause a number of oral health problems. When teeth move because of a missing tooth, your bite may become misaligned, resulting in jaw joint issues. Misaligned teeth are also harder to clean and more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay.
When Do You Use Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are an effective way to replace missing teeth if you don’t have enough jawbone to support dental implants, or if you’re looking for less costly treatment. The most important requirement is that the two adjacent teeth are healthy and available to use as supports (or we can use dental implants if you have them already).
What Can I Expect with a Dental Bridge?
The most common type of dental bridge involves placing dental crowns on the two adjacent teeth. This ensures a strong support for the dental bridge. This step involves numbing the area and removing some of the teeth’s structure to prepare for the dental crowns.
Next, we take an impression of the supporting teeth so that a dental lab can create a custom-fit dental bridge and two dental crowns. A temporary dental bridge is placed in your mouth to protect the exposed teeth and gums.
When your custom-made dental bridge returns from the lab, we’ll ensure that the fit is perfect. If so, we’ll bond the dental crowns to your abutment teeth and cement the dental bridge to the dental crowns. Occasionally, the dental bridge needs further adjustments, in which case we’ll send it back to the lab.
Made of porcelain fused to metal, porcelain only, or metal alloy, we will recommend the best type of dental bridge for your budget, lifestyle, and individual needs.
How Should I Care for Dental Crowns and Bridges?
Your dental crown or bridge are investments and need to be treated with care. Just like your other teeth, these treatments last the longest with diligent oral hygiene, a healthy diet, and regular dental exams.
Certain substances will stain porcelain dental crowns over time. If you consume coffee, tea, red wine, or other staining foods or drinks, be sure to brush your teeth or rinse with water afterward. Also, it’s best to quit smoking, as tobacco stains porcelain dental crowns.
Always floss thoroughly between your teeth, including between your dental crowns. Twice-daily brushing and regular dental cleanings and exams are also essential for healthy teeth and gums.
It’s important to floss between all your teeth as you normally would, along with brushing and regular dental visits. If the abutment teeth become infected or diseased, your dental bridge will be affected. Always let us know if you experience any gum or tooth sensitivity or pain.
How Can I Learn More about Dental Crowns and Bridges?
Our friendly staff at Bridge Dental Care is happy to set up a consultation with you. Dr. Primesh Modi is an expert at restoring the functionality and appearance of your teeth and has decades of experience in customizing solutions for patients.