Dental crowns and bridges are dental prosthesis that are used to protect damaged teeth or replace missing teeth. Both made of the same materials, crowns are individual “caps” that fit over a single tooth, while bridges are a series of crowns that are used to filling in spaces left by missing teeth.
Did you know About 70% of the United States population is missing at least one tooth.
Frequently Asked Questions
You might need a dental crown if you have a single damaged tooth that is mostly intact. Dental crowns work best when they can act as a protective barrier over partially damaged or decayed teeth. To find out for sure if you need a dental crown, schedule a consultation with Pasha Dental today.
There are many different types of dental crowns. The right dental crown depends on a number of factors including aesthetic preferences, budget, lifespan of the crown, and the tooth getting the crown. Different crown options include:
- Metal crowns: The strongest and longest lasting of all the crown options, metal crowns are best when used for the back teeth. However, since they are made of gold, platinum, nickel-chromium, and cobalt-chromium, they do have a metallic appearance.
- Porcelain fused to metal crowns: The strength of metal crowns with a more visually appealing exterior, porcelain fused to metal crowns are exactly what their namesake suggests. These crowns can easily be color matched to your existing teeth and have a natural appearance. However, opposing teeth may show signs of wear sooner and the metal may show through the porcelain if your gums begin to recede.
- All resin crowns: Made from a highly durable plastic material, resin crowns are the most cost effective dental crown option available. However, they are also one of the more fragile crowns and are prone to fracturing. They also tend to wear down faster than porcelain fused to metal crowns.
- All ceramic or all porcelain crowns: Made from a single material, both of these crowns provide the ability to be color matched to maintain a natural appearance in both the front and rear teeth. They also provide an option for patients with metal allergies.
- Zirconia crowns: Similar to all ceramic or all porcelain crowns, however zirconia crowns provide far superior strength and resistance to fracture.
- Temporary crowns: These crowns are used to provide a temporary restoration while the dental lab fabricates the permanent crown. Depending on the type of dental crown you decide on, you may need to wear a temporary crown for no more than a few weeks. Temporary crowns are made from an acrylic material or stainless steel.
You might need a dental bridge if you are missing one or more teeth, but have intact teeth surrounding the remaining gap. Dental bridges work best when they can provide support to the remaining teeth, while also bridging the gap between them. To find out for sure if you need a dental bridge, schedule a consultation with Pasha Dental today.
Just as with dental crowns, there are different types of dental bridges for your consideration. The most commonly used dental bridge is the traditional bridge, which uses two crowns placed on the teeth adjacent to the space with an artificial tooth, or pontic, between them. However, there are also Maryland bonded bridges that use metal (or zirconia) framework as a support system when adjacent teeth may not be enough. The final bridge type, cantilever bridges, are rarely used, but are used when there is only one tooth adjacent to the space. Dr. Pasha will evaluate your case and help you decide which bridge option will work best for you.
To place your dental crown or bridge, your teeth will first need to be shaped. This ensures that the crown or bridge will fit securely over your teeth while maintaining a natural appearance. After your teeth are shaped, a dental impression will be taken. This impression, along with color matching, will be sent to a dental lab so that your crown or bridge will be custom made to fit your mouth. While you wait for the lab to fabricate your crown or bridge, you will be given a temporary restoration to wear. Within a couple of weeks, your permanent restoration should arrive. Although sometimes an intermediate step is needed, depending on the complexity of the case and condition of the remaining teeth. Similar to a wedding dress fitting, the bridge may need minor alterations to get it just perfect. The final bridge will then be cemented into your mouth, thus completing the process.
After your dental crown or bridge is placed, you may experience sore gums or tooth sensitivity to temperatures. This is normal and should pass in a few days once your mouth has had a change to fully heal. In the meantime, you can manage any discomfort with over the counter pain medications.
To take care of your dental crown or bridge, you will need to practice good oral hygiene to avoid bacteria from growing and spreading. Be sure to brush twice a day, floss (especially with bridges) once a day, and visit Pasha Dental at least twice a year for your dental check up and professional teeth cleaning.
Upkeep of your bridge is of the utmost importance. Decay is the most common cause of bridge failure, in part because 15% of the abutments of a bridge, or the adjacent teeth, require root canals. Before committing to a bridge, think of the reason why you are missing the tooth, and why you need a bridge, then be prepared to commit to its upkeep.
The average lifespan of dental crowns and bridges is approximately 5-15 years. However you can extend their lifespan by practicing good oral hygiene and avoiding behaviors that could cause them to be damaged. Such behaviors include using your teeth as openers, biting your nails, grinding your teeth, and chewing ice.
The cost of your dental crown and bridge will vary based on the type you choose and the amount of teeth being treated. Individual dental crowns can range anywhere from $1500-$2400. However, dental insurance will usually offer an allowance for treatment to help offset the cost.
Dr. Pasha Javaheri Saatchi provides friendly, compassionate dental services at the forefront of dental technology to the Brooklyn, NY area as well as to Staten Island, Queens, and Manhattan. To experience the best dental care in NYC, schedule a consultation today at Pasha Dental.