If you have missing or damaged teeth, your smile can be adversely affected, and your ability to chew can be compromised. You probably feel very self-conscious if you have missing teeth in front, but the reality is, missing teeth in the back should not be ignored either. This is because whenever a tooth is missing, the teeth around the empty space shift toward that space. This can result in problems with your bite, as well as an increased risk of decay.
Dental implants are one of the best ways to replace missing teeth, but most insurers will not cover the cost of implants. A fixed dental bridge can be the next best option. You can replace a single tooth, or several teeth by means of a fixed bridge. The advantages to a fixed bridge are that it will last a long time, and will not slip. One disadvantage is that they can be difficult to clean. Another is that sometimes a perfectly good tooth may have to be prepared to receive a bridge support (abutment), meaning that some of the enamel will have to be removed, in much the same way that your teeth are prepared to receive a crown.
Once the teeth have been prepared, impressions will be taken of your mouth, and sent to a lab that will make your bridge. In the meantime, your dentist will provide you with a temporary bridge. When your bridge is delivered by the lab, your dentist will cement it in place.
Crowns are another type of restorative dentistry treatment. When crowns are supported by dental implants, they replace the entire tooth. You probably most often think of the need for a crown, though, in instances where a tooth has become broken or seriously cracked. As long as you still have 2/3 of the tooth remaining, a crown can be a good restorative option. Crowns are made of porcelain, which is a material very much like your own teeth. They cover the entire damaged surface of the tooth in order to protect it.
Crowns can also serve a cosmetic purpose, being used to cover seriously stained or discolored teeth.
Whatever type of restoration you have had done, whether a dental bridge or crowns, you must still be vigilant about your oral health. Your bridge or crowns will not decay, but if the underlying structure becomes compromised due to gum disease, your restorations could fail.
To learn more about dental bridges and crowns, or to book an appointment, contact us at A Healthy Smile Dentistry, 205 Ridgedale Avenue, #104, Florham Park, NJ 07932. You can reach us by phone at 973-377-2222, or use the form on our Contact Us page.